“Young leaders tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in five years, and underestimate what they can accomplish in ten.” I was told this shortly after the Board appointed me to be Executive Director five years ago on Oct. 7, 2017. Perhaps this is because it’s difficult to see how much foundational work is needed, including establishing core components like culture, values, and mission.
We all know foundations are important; we rarely understand ahead of time how much work it takes to create a good foundation. For example, the bigger and more complex the building, the more work the foundation takes.
At the Ranch we’ve seen this in real time as we’ve rebuilt the duplex. Designing, planning, calculating, and lengthy consultations with the County Building Department finally turned to site prep, excavation, forming, gravel, and rebar. Only then could we pour concrete for the foundation. But once the foundation was done, walls went up quickly.
Five years does mark a good interval to zoom out and consider the big picture. We’ve had some difficult seasons over these five years, but I’m excited about how much has been done. This was possible because so much of the foundation was already established. As I wrote in my first Director’s View five years ago: “The four [previous Ranch directors] are humble, servant-hearted, sacrificial leaders, and they’ve built these values into the heritage of the Ranch. This is a beautiful thing, and unfortunately it is rare in our world.” A lot can be built on a foundation like that.
We have accomplished a great deal in five years, and there are many plans in the works. “We” includes staff, interns, volunteers, prayer partners, donors, Agony riders and saggers, and more.
Unfortunately, foundations never seem to be perfect. Problems always appear down the road, whether with a house, an organization, or our personal life foundations.
If I were an interior designer examining a house to renovate and re-style, I would try to identify all the flaws of the house and figure out how to conceal them. But the real master designers don’t just conceal; somehow they incorporate those imperfections into a new creation. The result is unique, partly due to those very imperfections.
Thanks be to God, this is what He is doing constantly. He is the redeemer. May He do this with the Ranch ministry, with our lives, and with every young person who comes here.
Nate Boyd, Executive Director