Organizational Leadership

Working in Tension

“Some tension is necessary for the soul to grow.”

This past weekend we had the annual meeting of the founding churches of SpringHill. These churches’ involvement goes back to SpringHill’s  inception back in 1969. They continue to share the values and mission of SpringHill and are as committed as we are to their preservation.

But as we talked during our meeting I shared one change that I’ve found personally challenging and hard to accept. It’s my inability to know on a personal level all the families and churches involved with SpringHill as was once possible in those early days.

Today, there are 100’s of churches and 1000’s of families from around the world who participate in SpringHill Experiences in 40 locations around the Midwest. In our first summer we had about 300 campers. This up-coming summer we expect over 15,000 campers and 45,000 for the entire year. For me to know all these people is an impossible dream.

The challenge for us is to make today’s families and today’s churches feel as much a part of SpringHill as those original churches, and the families they represent, did in 1969. And like those early days we want to continue to reach more and more kids and serve more and more churches.

Thus lays the tension I live with every day in my work. The tension between our desire to continue to reach more and more kids through the SpringHill Experience and yet continue to conduct our ministry in the context of personal relationships and intimate communities. It’s a tension I’ve learned I cannot resolve alone.

The resolution, I’ve discovered, comes from an effective team of people who can share this work, the work of building relationships and connecting with families and churches. Though I desire to know everyone, I now find joy in seeing our team share in this good work and assuring we fulfill our vision of reaching more kids and doing it in a relational, SpringHill way.


  • Matt Wagner

    Andy Stanley has a great leadership podcast and talk regarding necessary tensions in an organization. They never go away, they must simply be managed. The good thing is that this is a tension for you – its a healthy sign of your love for the mission of S Hill, and your desire to continually get better as a person and team.

    • mdperry1

      Thanks Matt for the Andy Stanley referral I will have to find it and listen to it. And your inference is correct, we probally have many more tensions then just this one. This one happen to be more immediate.

Leave a Reply