While most of our new staff used to be fresh graduates from the campus ministry, we are now seeing more mid-career people join as full-time staff. This shift creates a wider pool of experience and perspectives among the staff family, which is helpful in propelling our work toward new, fresh directions to be more effective in changing times.
Rachel Ong joined the Operations Hub (Ops) team in 2021 after working in several tertiary institutions where she managed undergraduate and scholarship programmes. At the time, Rachel was feeling lost in terms of her career and spiritual walk. She had changed jobs three times after the birth of her daughter, but none felt right.
That was when the opportunity to join Cru came up. The Ops team was looking for someone to set up and manage Cru’s course offerings on microlearning platform Gnowbe, with the long-term aim of equipping believers in evangelism, discipleship and missions.
It proved to be the right move, with Rachel’s experience aligning well with her new job scope. “Having written many instructional guides and SOPs for students and staff to reference to, these skills very easily translated to my role as a Gnowbe curator, where my first project was to curate programmes for new staff onboarding,” recalls Rachel.
Rachel focused on digitising training content for the Gnowbe platform.
Rachel has found the working environment to be refreshingly different too. There was a stronger emphasis on rank in her previous workplaces - the companies’ rank and file had little to no say and could speak to the bosses only at special events. At Cru’s office, Rachel could speak freely with her supervisor and work directly with him on projects.
“I feel very comforted and encouraged that my bosses know what’s happening on the ground (both field and administrative matters) and am also very glad that I can speak to them casually without the fear of being penalised for saying something wrong,” Rachel reflects.
More than that, Rachel found it wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded Christians, seeing that “everyone is working towards the same goal of making disciples everywhere.”
Three months on, Rachel’s supervisor asked her to help with the back-end running of online Christianity Explored sessions for seekers. This gave Rachel an opportunity to be involved in direct ministry, while still tapping on her skills in project management.
“It has been refreshing hearing how each one sees a particular verse in so many different ways,” Rachel reflects. “One highlight was when the session over-ran for almost an hour because everyone willingly stayed behind to discuss questions from a young dating couple (one of whom grew up in a Christian home but no longer goes to church and another who is agnostic). Just their willingness to ask and seek for answers made the whole Christianity Explored run worth it.”
Perhaps the biggest takeaway for Rachel is that full-time ministry does not only mean pastoral or field work. We serve God in many ways, including every day, mundane tasks: from giving out ART kits and keeping proper records, to answering phone enquiries from the public about Media Ministry bookstore opening hours and donation enquiries.
“I guess,” Rachel reflects, “there are many ways to serve God, it just depends on the attitude and position of my heart.”
In her work, Rachel aims to understand staff needs in order to curate useful training content for them.
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