Building Trust In A Community

By Travis Hendershott, Partnership Coordinator

Next Step Ministries is coming up on our third summer in Colorado Springs. I have been the Partnership Coordinator since the beginning and have witness our start with barely any relationships all the way through the many relationships that we have now within the community. Our initial relationship was simply a church. As we began to reach out to organizations and homeowners we quickly learned that within the community of Colorado Springs, it’s difficult to help within situations that don’t know who you are. Not every community is the same, but I imagine there is a lot of similarities.

Our Construction Coordinator and I recently met with Mission Medical to plan our third summer of construction projects. We arrived in the usual meeting space with a large table. To our pleasant surprise Mission Medical had made us a home cooked meal for lunch. We all grabbed a plate and sat around, eating, and chatting through priorities for the summer. It was truly a gift to share a meal with these wonderful people that make up this organization. Thinking back to the first summer or even second, I’m not sure that this situation would have existed or felt nearly the same. As we walked through the clinic hallways we chatted and laughed about things that had happened the summer prior. Good things and, not so perfect things. Either way, we understand each others organizations and how we operate.

There has been much of this going on in Colorado Springs with Next Step Ministries. Our visits for summer plannings and check ins have become much more natural. I don’t know how else to say it but the relationship feels easy, or easier. But none of this could have happened without being consistent, being around, and coming back each summer. I haven’t been to school for or learned much about relationship theories, but I’ll bet spending time with one another is up at the top for building trust and relationships.

It’s difficult to see relationships grow at first, wondering how one organization will interact with another, or how a homeowner will respond to an initial visit. I’d make sure to wear a collared shirt and send a well grammared email (I still do, I still do). Now I’ll shoot a text, pop in, while wearing a t-shirt (a Next Step one of course).

I’m really excited about where we are at within the community. Not everything is perfect, that’s not the goal… But everything is growing, moving forward and building trust with this community we call home. One step at a time, but I’m looking forward to 2020.

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