I learned an important lesson a while back about image. You probably don’t think you think much about image, if you are like me. I mean, who wants to be considered vain or self-centered? The truth is, however, that we think a fair bit about image on a regular basis. We want to look good when we go out in public. You know, hair looking decent, make-up on, clothes presentable. We want to come across well to each other so we are careful what we say. We don’t want to sound uninformed or do something dumb. You get the picture. Our image is a big deal to us.
So here is the lesson. It is important to try and manage every point of contact because image is a subjective reality. We need to make regular deposits to our “image bank,” not withdrawals. The truth of the matter is that we are either doing one or the other all of the time. The deposits towards a good image are what we want; the withdrawals from that image – not so much.
Let’s look at an example with the people we serve at The Firs. We want to be a serving and caring organization to the people and the groups who come on our grounds. If they are met with indifference or are ignored when they arrive, we are definitely making a withdrawal from the image we want. If, instead, they are met with a smile, a greeting and a cookie – a deposit is made.
When kids arrive at Firwood or Fircreek on the first day of camp we want to portray an image of acceptance, fun and love. So, if they end up standing around wondering what they should be doing, we have made a withdrawal. But, if they are immediately addressed face to face, brought into an activity or asked to join in a game that looks really cool – that is a good image maker.
Part of our mission statement is that we want people who come to The Firs to “experience the love of God.” Now there is an image worth pursuing! That image speaks of joy, belonging, comradery and a bunch of other things. It reflects an absence of stress and a feeling of peace and hope – all things that the children and youth that come here greatly need.
Now, we aren’t perfect at establishing this image but we work at it constantly. I’d like for you to do something: follow this link https://fircreekdaycamp.org/ to our new website for Fircreek and take a look at the pictures that face you right away. Read these words: “Each and every child at Fircreek Day Camp is precious to us; We believe that each child is important to God; We have a blast and we let kids know that God is a part of it.” As you look at the faces on this site, I think you will agree with me, that image is, in fact, very important. And, when image has implications for eternity, that much more.
Serving Him together,
Tom Beaumont (Executive Director)