Samaritans Versus Innkeepers
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” Leo Buscaglia
As a leader of people, one of the most important tasks one has is to place the right people in the right seats. For Executive Directors of pregnancy centers and clinics, this can be very challenging. Usually, people who work or volunteer for pregnancy centers and clinics are passionate about the mission and willing to help wherever needed. If people are not working in an area that they are passionate about or best fits their talents and strengths, employee satisfaction and retention will become an issue.
Each individual is unique. However, in a pregnancy center setting, they will usually fall into one of two categories, a “Samaritan” or an “Innkeeper.” In Luke 10, Jesus told the story of the Samaritan and the Innkeeper. A man was stripped and beaten and left half-dead as he was traveling to Jericho. People passed by him but didn’t stop to help. Finally, a Samaritan stopped and cleaned and bandaged his wounds. The Samaritan then took him to an inn where he could receive care. The next day, the Samaritan departed and left the man in the Innkeeper’s care until he recovered. The Samaritan took care of the immediate crisis. The Innkeeper met the man’s long term needs.
When a woman comes into a pregnancy center, she is like the man in crisis. She has immediate needs that must be addressed to for her to move forward. There is critical information and resources that she needs immediately. The Focus Method, taught by The SperaVita Institute, equips centers to handle these immediate needs. Additionally, the woman often needs ongoing care and support to help her move forward beyond her initial visits to a center. She may need discipleship, parenting classes, material goods, etc.
Center Directors need to identify the Samaritans and Innkeepers on their teams and place people in the area of their gifting and greatest effectiveness.
As an Executive Director, I recommend having a way to assess your staff’s giftings and the things they are excited and passionate about doing. Ask yourself: What energizes them? What gives them joy? What do they find most rewarding? Then put them in a position that best suits them. When you do this, you will maximize each individual’s effectiveness, leading to a more effective organization. In the end, this leads to lives saved and transformed.