Over the coming months, I will be sharing with you some of the instrumental people in my life who have inspired, encouraged and shaped my leadership. But before doing that, my team thought it was important that all of our readers of the Journey to Hope blogs understand the type of leader that I am. So this week, the TWR Canada team has taken over my blog as they do from time to time.
For those who have the opportunity to call Ray Alary family, friend, colleague, mentor or maybe even a collection of any of these, we know that Ray is a different kind of leader.
As we think of all the great leaders we’ve known over time, various past employers, pastors, church elders and even a few friends come to mind. The question of what makes a leader effective is one worth asking. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a leader is “a person in control of a group, country or situation.”
That seems like a pretty basic understanding of the term with which we can all agree. And based on that definition alone, we could certainly say that Ray is able to be called a leader.
However, when we look to the Bible for what it says about leaders, what immediately comes to mind is Mark 20:26b-28. Jesus is asked by a mother about her sons being considered to sit by the right and left of Jesus’ side in heaven. Jesus responds telling this woman she doesn’t know what she's asking for. He says “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This verse is a great depiction of what Ray strives towards in his leadership. This form of leadership in action is what we’ve seen exemplified over the past 10 years at TWR Canada. We asked a few of the staff to share some of their experiences with Ray as a leader.Nicki Coles, our communications manager shared the following:
"I’ve worked at TWR Canada for just over two years now and I’m excited to tell you some of the ways that I’ve seen this kind of servant leadership.
"In our travels across Canada to visit with supporters and host ministry fundraising dinners, there are many pieces that happen behind the scenes. Ray is always quick to grab the heaviest bags, set up the intimidating sound system, locate the nearest coffee shop and take on the role of driver when I’ve been too tired. In addition to all of this, he’s encouraged me personally, shut down conversations that are going no where or could potentially end in disunity and
been willing to make himself uncomfortable for the comfort of those he’s been travelling with.
"In the office, he’s always quick and willing to lend a hand to me or any other staff member when needed. Including having me bring my broken portable air conditioner to the office for him to take the time to try to fix it."Our ministry development manager, Eliza Argall writes:
Each of us as staff have the responsibility of lunch room clean up each day of the week. Along with another team member, Lindsey, I share our Monday clean up tasks with Ray. Though he travels a lot and often isn’t here to help, you can always know that if he is in the building and it’s a garbage day, that we won’t have to take it out. Often before we even get to the task, he’s already taken the responsibility on himself.Dave Dunmore our director of support services shares the following:
Ray loves to work with his hands. So when a task needs to be done like digging holes and pouring cement, Ray is right there. I had an opportunity to work alongside him this spring as we built a fence to secure equipment on the TWR Canada property. Ray lives out his leadership and I experienced that as we measured, cut and set fence posts. By the end of the day the fence was built. Ray was covered in sawdust and sand and I had shared in another of his leadership lessons: a true leader will cheerfully and competently take on and complete tasks that others would avoid or delegate.
What a gift it is to have a leader who is not afraid of the unknown and willing to put himself last as he aims to make Christ shine clearly in and through him which as a result allows the ministry we do to flourish and more people to come to a saving relationship with Jesus.
We look forward to the coming weeks where we hear about the people who have inspired Ray to be this type of a leader!