Building and methods of construction have a long history of being preferred illustrations of personal and spiritual development. To build true, what is of low value must be cleared away and the foundation laid for any subsequent structure to be secure (Matt 7:24-27). No doubt we would all have better foundations ideally, but for now, I for one will do my very best to keep the flaws in mine from the prying and curious eyes around me. This is the game we all play, certainly since primary school. We cannot afford to be exposed, found out, the stakes are high and we are not confident enough to be vulnerable often.
Being a healthy environment in which to work requires not least that we are open and accommodating to the various ways in which people work, live, think, feel, respond, behave, and a whole host of other measures of personal behaviour and response. It means we have to gladly accept that we each carry flaws in our foundations and are doing our very best to keep the structures built on top from falling down. To be a healthy environment we must give permission for one another to be vulnerable and be emboldened to examine our respective foundations and make ongoing repairs in order to better serve the mission to which we have been called. This requires acceptance and forbearance across the board.
I am hopeful that we are not all that distinctive in the pursuit of this culture of acceptance and accommodation, the caring professions I assume must be full of such ideas and intentions. I would think that more and more people would expect their place of work to become ever more tolerant and secure places in which individuals feel free to bring the best that they are and be encouraged to develop ever further down the road toward being the people they were created to be. We want the places in which we work to be the places in which we feel at liberty to explore the boundaries of our potential. What I am describing in a more secular language framework might be described as an environment of psychological safety. Psychological Safety in this instance describes a workplace in which people feel free to share ideas, mistakes, and criticisms. They are less worried about protecting their image and more focused on doing great work. That is, they’re free to focus on and contribute to the company’s mission.
The mission of God is best served when the people in His service are moving toward their potential at each stage of our respective discipleship journeys, not because God needs us but because he invites us. Therefore it is essential that we as leaders see that people are released from the fear that inhibits natural gifting. We must all recognise that from the youngest possible age we have been shaped by our contact with the world, peers, family, idols, and not always positively. We are born free, we then go through the process of binding, conforming, surviving, stultifying until slowly but surely many of us shy away from exhibiting fully the unique light that the Lord had designed into each of us.
In a soundbite world we see high profile people being pilloried because they do not hold the views held as sacred to people on the other side of ideological fences. It is increasingly a world in which only the hardiest dare express themselves and endure the tsunami of vitriol that so often comes back at them. It is like the schoolyard all over again. It is not a world in which the majority of us feel encouraged to exercise the loosening of our chains and inhibitions, let alone experience psychological safety. I am conscious too that in a trauma informed world, my own presence and demeanour may initially cause some to hold back from being true presentations of themselves, but one hopes that as time goes on we establish a culture in which the Glasgow City Mission improves because the ‘bushels’ are removed and lights are encouraged to shine (Matthew 5:14–15, Mark 4:21–25 and Luke 8:16–18).
The danger with a shouty world is that we are encouraged to hide the very qualities that were designed to be the greatest blessing to the world. A real case, across billions of people throughout time of the stones of our characters and our lives being rejected (for whatever reason) actually being the chief cornerstones of our ministries. The freedom we have in Christ is to be fools for Him and to be all he would have us be in spite of the pressures to conform. To loose and to heal, to set free. That is to be as fully ourselves as possible. To live in this state would be to live in a state of true worship, truly honouring to God, honouring to self, and a blessing to the world. What a house God is building! We owe it to the eternal mission to enfranchise our people to reclaim the cornerstone qualities of their lives and in the building of the Kingdom.
Chief Executive Officer
 A definition published in Forbes online by Amy Edmondson – https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2018/12/20/how-to-build-work-cultures-of-psychological-safety-rather-than-fear/?sh=5fb4ea546f69
 Scriptures for reference – Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16, Acts 4:11, Eph 2:19-22, 1 Pet 2:5-7