Crowd of people at sunrise

By Devonport Chaplaincy CEO Andrew Hillier

Central to a strong community is relationships. Actually, communities are relationships. Lots of them, interconnected. Our communities thrive when relationships are central to all that we do, rather than things we do being the centre of our attention.

There are far too many, for so many reasons, struggling with the impacts of feeling alone and disconnected. Too many people across the North West Coast of Tasmania are battling with the impacts of poor mental health. Something needs to change and we each have a part to play.

For these reasons our team stays committed to our mission of “Making life better, one relationship at a time.”

Why do we do what we do? Three words I now regularly share with all of our team that sum up who we are and what we do.

Motivation. There is, and should always be, something that motivates. The central motivation for us as an orgnisation comes from the example of Jesus. In the Bible, Mark 10, Jesus said, even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. To serve and be the servants in a society that is often more focused on “what's in it for me” is somewhat counter culture. At Devonport Chaplaincy, we are motivated by this powerful example of serving others.

Method. There is always a method. A way of accomplishing or achieving something. At Devonport Chaplaincy and Loaves and Fishes, we want that method to be simple. Take care of the one! In a busy world and system always focused on outcomes and success often being measured in who has the highest number or best outcome, the simplicity of one is often forgotten.

Again, as an organisation founded on the values of Jesus, we draw from his simple but profound words: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.' Matthew 18:12-14

This will be our method. Taking time to care for the one, “Making life better, ONE relationship at a time.”

Madness. It all seems a bit mad. Putting yourself out to serve others, taking time out in an achievement-obsessed world to just care for one. But our team is up for it, and I know servant hearts of some very special people are helping to make life better for so many.

As I observe our chaplains, mentors and volunteers serve others, I see a growing group of very special and beautiful individuals, willing to be vulnerable, open, honest and sacrificial for the sake of just one person, committed to seeing the very best in life for them.

Utter madness to many, so incredible for the one.

Please consider how you can serve the one. We have many young people across our community who value and benefit from 60 minutes of your time this week.