Word of Thanks: Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due


I'm well aware that leadership is like an egg. It must be handled with care, as the Ghanaian wood carving shows, Parham says. (Photo: Robert Parham)
EthicsDaily.com makes a difference for one simple earthly reason: our community. Call it the right people making good things happen. Call it the living cloud of witnesses.

Why not call it the eCloud?

Apostle Paul begins his letters with a word of thanks. "I thank my God … for all of you (Romans 1:8). Or 1 Corinthians 1:4, "I give thanks to God always for you." Or Philippians 1:3, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you."

Well, my thanks is overdue. Our abundant accomplishments, entrepreneurial initiatives and global network result from an exceptional staff. I give full credit, albeit seldom enough, to those who tirelessly advance the common good.

Cliff Vaughn, our media producer, deserves a mountain of credit. Under his leadership, we launched our current website, which provides fresh daily columns and offers moral education resources.

Under his guidance, we have separated ourselves from the clutter of Baptist voices with the production of meaningful faith documentaries – documentaries that broadcast TV networks see as having significant value.

Give Cliff any idea, and the idea returns a better one. Ask him to take any initiative, and the assignment is completed thoroughly.

Send him 30 minutes of raw footage, and the footage is edited into a three-minute clip that lots of folk will view and use in their churches. Suggest Skype interviews, and the interviews bring to life real people working on real issues.

Zach Dawes, our managing editor, merits abundant recognition for the fresh daily columns that help people of faith better understand their world and responsibility in it. He sifts through submissions and searches blogs, finding the most relevant and helpful articles.

He also takes initiatives to improve the "platform," moving the site from a text heavy one to one that balances text with graphics and videos, ensuring readers that germane content flows through the site.

New additions include an expanded Twitter feed and photo news stories on Pinterest.

Recognize his fingerprints on the new Profiles in Goodwill, a way to playfully introduce the staff, board members, contributors and others to readers. It's a way to create connectivity and community in an increasing fragmented context.

Brian Kaylor, our contributing editor, offers our readers the best news analysis pieces on Baptist life available, unsatisfied with rewrites of press releases.

His coverage of the Baptist World Alliance is unmatched. His substantive reporting unparalleled. His work builds constituency through deep content.

Michael Leathers, our copy editor, makes sure text copy is clean and clear – and makes sure that the text says what is meant to be said. A playwright by avocation, Michael knows words.

Joel Emerson, our website editor, receives little visibility. Yet he makes everything visible. As a techie with ministerial credentials, he makes sure the site technology works.

He finds tools – at minimal expense – that improve the site and delivery of reliable content.

Brittany Jackson, our office assistant, takes care of database details, shipping and emails. We would grind to a halt without her!

Add to the eCloud our board. Each member brings a connectivity and wisdom that sharpens what we do and expands our reach. They open doors with their calls and contact lists.

The board validates the organization, verifies quality controls, sets policies, questions programming directions, secures funding.

The future of the eCloud is in good hands because of our board of directors.

We can't give enough thanks to EthicsDaily.com contributors, Skype interviewees, documentaries interviewees and Twitter followers.

They enrich what we do beyond measure. They deepen the moral reflection of our community and expand the possibilities of positive engagement.

They challenge false narratives and provide on-the-ground insight into what is really happening around the world and in local churches.

A shout out goes to EthicsDaily.com readers. I'm grateful for your longstanding support, some might say longsuffering support!

I've sought for more than 23 years to be a good steward of what has been entrusted to me. I'm well aware that leadership is like an egg. It must be handled with care, as the Ghanaian wood carving shows.

After all this time, I really think we're just now getting to the top of our game.

Let's see where we can go together in the years ahead – for the common good – with more expressive gratitude.

Robert Parham is executive editor of EthicsDaily.com and executive director of its parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics. Follow him on Twitter at RobertParham1 and friend him on Facebook.

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