Model for Base Leadership

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Here is a model of leadership that might be useful for those leading YWAM bases and YWAM centres. It is not a model of how a base should be run but the things leaders must do to make a centre function well both internally and externally to the general public and the wider YWAM Family.

Model of Base Leadership

Model of ministry.png
The varied Evangelism, Training and Mercy Ministries for the base require a solid foundation to be built upon.

Evangelism, Training and Mercy Ministries

Leadership must develop and nurture the ministries of the base that we usually define as falling within the categories of evangelism, training and mercy ministries. It is essentially Operations management and is easily the most demanding of time. The leadership is responsible for:

  • vision and strategy of the whole to help individual ministries to start and grow.
  • training and support for the release of new ministries and ministry leaders
  • managing, monitoring and nurturing existing ministries
  • ensuring good communication between ministries and a deep connection to YWAM locally and internationally.
  • trouble shooting and dispute resolution.

Five Foundations

The foundations of management responsibility that the ministries are built upon that a leader must attend to are (in no particular order)

  • Prayer
    1. Prayer for the base ministry and the local area
    2. International needs
  • People
    1. Healthy community life
    2. Recruiting new staff
    3. Staff training, development and care
  • Communication
    1. Internal (to base staff, to other bases, to leadership etc)
    2. External (to supporters, to the general public)
  • Finance
    1. Fundraising
    2. Financial integrity (transparency/accuracy/financial planning)

(and additionally if property is owned)

  • Buildings
    1. General Maintenance
    2. Building projects and large maintenance

An Illustrative Parable

The following story should help to explain how the model might be worked out in practise. Please note there is no YWAM Luxembourg yet! Any resemblance to real people is probably intended!

The Good Leader of Luxembourg

Jane is the base leader of YWAM's Luxembourg City Centre base. The base is centred around an evangelistic Cyber-café. Smaller projects include a Go office taking short term outreach teams away and offering Global Perspectives courses to the local church. They have a DTS that runs January to June.

On Tuesday Jane arrives in the office a little later than normal, at 9am, after the short cycle ride from the staff flat that she shares with several other staff members. She would normally get there for 8.30 for thirty minutes of quiet before the office opens. Today she can be later because all the staff have a later starting time due the monthly late night prayer session the previous night. The prayer meeting which always focuses on the ministry or issues related to the city had been a powerful time and Jane had several new thoughts about possible outreach that she wanted to send to some people.

Arriving in the office she switched on the coffee machine and went to fire up her computer in her office. Her habit was to check her Emails only twice a day. Her rule in this was that her email Inbox should always remain empty. In the three minutes her computer took to start she flipped through her paper diary. Everyone else had started using there phones to keep diary appointments on but there was something very flexible about using a pencil and paper keep track of appointments. As she reviewed the day she made a few notes about what to do. The agenda was 60% full today so she pencilled in some extra walk-about time. She always kept 20% free, as the other staff always seemed to supply that percentage anyway.

The coffee was nearly ready so she grabbed her cup and wandered back to her office. Closing the door she sipped her coffee, finished a draft email and sent it. She hit the fetch emails button and was pleased to see only nine emails arrived. She quickly read then. Some were simple to sort out but there was one request for a decision the repair of the east wall from Bill. She scratched a note in her diary to chat to Bill; it was not that she needed to make the decision on but she would need to help Bill see that this was a problem that he could take some more initiative about, before consulting again with her.

There were some diary dates and so she jotted them down. A French language email from Nice was a little harder to read (it was her third language) but she wrote back to Phillipe there as she had proposed to send a Staff team for a working visit to help with painting their new lecture room and setting up a wireless computer network. Pastor Fredrique wrote with notes from the latest City Pastors meeting she had been at. She filed them will all the other emails in the Read folder. Thank goodness for the Google search program that enabled her to find all this stuff when she needed it!

An encrypted email demanded her passphrase. Rodney had helped her set up an encrypted email account at the latest communications training for leaders meeting in Harpenden. It had proved invaluable in talking to Jeanette who had been her DTS leader on the base but was now working in ---. It looked from the email that she was needing some encouragement just now. She sent on the email to the base leadership team ( with a little reminder not to send it externally.

One email was about a telephone message from the external auditors saying that they needed some final details before they could sign off the annual accounts. Jean quickly picked up the phone and called them.

The final email was from Brian who did much of the personnel. He was asking if there were some appraisal tools he could use. Jean remembered seeing some appraisals that YWAM Brussels used and wrote quickly to tell Brian to look on the YWAM Knowledgebase.

The noise in the office was growing and she finished the rest of the coffee, opened her office door and went out to greet the others. Her neck was already aching from the typing but it felt good to have an empty Inbox. She ticked her box on the office "Empty Inbox" chart. She was somewhat behind Tim's record of 100 days but was closing fast. She would overtake him on his furlough and that made her chuckle.

At ten she chaired a review meeting with the evangelism team. It was good to hear all that they had done. As the team expressed their sense that God calling to do more street evangelism she suggested that they call in Rani the Evangelism co-coordinator for Western Europe for a meeting or if he had not enough time to visit to arrange a Genesis link with him for some more training and brainstorming.

The office coffee break was a blast as always especially as the little kids had worked out that if they charmed all the staff in turn they could get around the one Biscuit each-rule.

Jane needed to go back to the office for the next hour as she had training to prepare for the regular staff training session tomorrow. She was training some staff members to be "Angels" for the new staff who were coming. The Angels played a vital role in the orientation of new staff by being available as a listening ear, to teach some language, to familiarise the new staff with the area and the history of the City, the Base and how YWAM had developed in Europe. Jane had done it before but she wanted to flick through the Portfolio course materials again.

She took a break after that to glance at her RSS reader page at Google. Jeff Fountain's Weekly Word was there so she had a quick read. It was good but not one of his best! However according to Planet YWAM, Donovan Palmer had been Blogging again about his favourite leadership books. Jane quickly surfed to Amazon and bought a copy. Shame the YWAM online bookstore was not working yet. Or was it. She had not heard anything in ages about it. There was one more story about church planting from a team in Chad of a recent success story in N'Djamena. She had been praying for Chad for a long time so that brought a smile to her face.

She was just going to head off for lunch when her Skype started to ring. Nicki was calling from Liège. Nicki and her team had been sent out from Luxembourg City to start the base in Liège. They were doing well but had come up against a wall of resistance with their new youth initiative. Jean assured her she would tell the base and they would pray (She would call a Special Coffee break that afternoon! Any staff member could call it and got to set a subject for prayer so long as they provided a pack of biscuits too. It was a strange custom but they all enjoyed it.) She also marked an extra date apart from their normal monthly meeting when she would go and visit Nicki.

Lunch was a quiet sandwich around the corner from the building. Beba, the sandwich shop owner, was rapidly becoming a friend and Jane gossiped with him as he made her sandwich. He was always kind with her when she tried to speak Luxembourgish; especially when she made mistakes. Today was fun as she could invite him and his wife to her church's low key 70's Disco party that was happening on Friday. He said he would come. She told him he would not need to change his clothes as his fashion was that out of date anyway!

After Lunch Jane had her language class at the local college. It was not as much fun as talking with Beba and she felt pretty demoralised as she failed to conjugate the subjunctive tense of to go again.

When she got back she checked her email again but there were no important messages for her, so she started on her walk-about. She did this once each week but a little extra never hurts. She grabbed a pen and a pad of paper and set off. About half the staff were in and half out. She visited Toni and Guy who had recently had a baby. She spent some time peeling potatoes with Jake in the kitchen. He wanted to know more about the proposed International Prayer Walk that she had talked about in the staff meeting last week. He had seen more on the YWAM Channel on You Tube but was wondering if it would really be for him. Jane suggested that he call David who was organising the walk and reassured Jake that he wasn't as scary as Jake thought he was.

On her way up to meet Bill at the East wall she ran into Brian again. He was fighting with the photocopier. They got chatting about newsletters and how colour would make a difference to them. As they talked an new idea emerged to provide a computer and colour laser printer for the staff to write newsletters on. Jane recalled a conversation at the last supporters evening when she got chatting with a local man after the talk. He had expressed how he would like to give something for the "not so sexy but important" parts of the ministry. She had written about the need for that sort of support in the last base monthly newsletter.

She quickly walked down the corridor and called the man on her mobile phone. She asked whether this need might fit his desire to give. The man was thrilled and asked for Jane to send him an idea of what was needed. He had also decided that he wanted to give some more money for any training the staff of the base might need. Jane was thrilled: she had been hatching a plan to fund each of the staff with 75 Euro annually to spend on training (books or conference fees, travel to meet with a mentor etc). This could be a step on towards that.

Jane spent an enjoyable half hour with Bill. The wall was clearly in need of work but as Jane spent time with Bill she was able to help him realise that he could take several extra steps to investigate the options of what would be needed to bring to the leadership team.

Jane returned to her office and tidied some papers. She left at 5pm turning off her computer, several other computers, the coffee machine, all the lights and locked the office door securely behind her.