I came to Street Psalms in August of 2016, nine months pregnant, and freshly graduated from my Master’s program. I had never heard of “Incarnational Leadership”, but I was eager to dip my toes back into the working world, while continuing my role as stay at home mom. I started as a 5 hours a week, work-from-home bookkeeper. However, like the proverbial frog in a pot of boiling water, I had no idea what I was actually getting myself into. But, in a good way.
In the Incarnational Framework, we see three indicators of incarnational leadership. There is a movement from scarcity to abundance, from theory to practice and from rivalry to peacemaking. As I’ve gotten to know Street Psalms, diving deeper into the incarnation and learning what those three movements mean, I’ve been amazed at how they are applied to the organization itself and the people involved. The incarnation is more than a training term or a catchphrase – it’s in the smallest to the biggest details of what happens here everyday. Here’s a bit of what I’ve observed as a semi-outsider, being drawn further up and further in:
We never focus on what can’t be done because of the constraints of funding – we focus on the wealth of resources found in the network and the relationships that have been built over the past 20+ years of the organization.
When conflict arises (as it does in every organization), the response isn’t bitterness, or scapegoating, or a preservation of power. Each person is treated as fully human, gifts, foibles, quirks and all.
There’s a sort of holy discontent with staying with the status quo because that’s what’s always been done. When a weakness or an area of improvement is identified, it’s addressed. Sometimes slowly, sometimes painfully, but it’s not ignored.
Street Psalms is clearly not a perfect organization. We are, after all, made up of very imperfect people. But as I’ve grown in my involvement and my love for the work that is done here, it’s not because Street Psalms is without fault – just the opposite. I stay because God is showing up through our faults. I’m still here because the evidence of what we claim to be about is visible in budget meetings, conference calls, and in having lunch together at the office. Here, I see “love with skin on it” every day.
Street Psalms Senior Fellow
Founding Director of Parachute Ministries