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The Street Psalms Office
A Brief Introduction
This month we are featuring Kristy Humphreys, the Operations Manager for Street Psalms. Kristy has a unique vantage on our work of developing incarnational leaders. She handles the books. A wise mentor taught me that our checkbook and our calendar book reveal more about who we are than any other books in our lives. Kristy has full access to both of these books in the life of Street Psalms. She knows exactly how the money flows and what we do with our time.
I hate to admit it, but Directors sometimes have a way of spinning things and bending the truth in our favor. Kristy’s gift grounds us. She is by nature, a grace-filled truth-teller, tethered to reality, which makes her eminently trustworthy. She is also a gifted and insightful leader who has helped shape our work from the ground up. What could be more incarnational than that?
As we prepare to celebrate the great miracle of the Incarnation, enjoy Kristy’s view “from below” and “within” a movement that is forming and shaping leaders for mission. You can trust it! We do.
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:
This focus is never on what can’t be done because of the constraints of funding – it’s 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.
Operations Manager at Street Psalms