05 August, 2017

Exciting magazine gathering

Five years ago we had the first annual planning meeting for the Japan Harvest magazine that I manage. On Monday we'll have the fourth planning meeting (we skipped a couple of years when I went on home assignment).

Our team meeting last year.
At the first meeting we had three people, at the second one we had four people. Last year had six people present in person the whole time and two part-time on Skype. This year we've got ten people lined up to be there in person and one part-time on Skype. I'm astounded. 

That's a huge proportion of our team. There's only two others who might have come, but they are both overseas and don't have big roles in the preparation of the magazine. Praise God that he's provided so many committed people to this ongoing project and that the timing works so well. 

You have to note that four of those who'll (Lord willing) be there on Monday live in Kansai, several hours away. For various reasons they've all be able to coordinate a visit to the nation's capital with this meeting. I'm so thankful. It's hard to run a team that almost never has all-team meetings. Almost everyone on the team have significant other ministries/jobs that they do, which means that often it's really hard to get even two of us together at the same time. Though I try to meet periodically with the key team members one-on-one.

Two big topics on the agenda are:

  • planning topics for the coming issues
  • planning for my home assignment
The latter is harder than the former. Especially when there's no one stepping up to take my job. All the editors we have are too busy to take on my managing role, but I also do a fair amount of the article editing for the magazine. It will be interesting to hear what ideas people have for helping this work. This is a creative bunch of people, I hope that we can come up with some good possibilities. Last time I gave the whole role away while I was gone and it didn't work very well. This time I'm thinking that I'll have to keep doing the managing part, at least.

I'm excited about this meeting and not nearly so nervous as I was last year. A curious fact about the group is that six are Aussies, four are Americans, and one is Japanese. Not such a diverse team...

PS. A day later I realise that I missed out a whole piece of explanation here: that this magazine is run on a shoe-string and that everyone, including me, is a volunteer. No one gets paid travel expenses to come from Kansai, no one gets paid to come to this meaning at all!

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