In my ministry career, I’ve only had a few offices to call my own. They ranged from a metal trailer, to a former storage area under the baptismal, to a beach office with an incredible view. Next week, I’m moving to my 8th office in 7 years, but I have to say my current office has been my favorite of all.
My office rests in the back of a makeshift theater. Although there is very little heat, we’ve found a way to make due using space heaters. The electrical is a little old, so a few times a day the breakers flip and we lose power; in which time we take a short 5 minute break to reboot and enjoy each others company. I live in about a three foot area of a ten foot counter-top that 3 of us share. There is a total of 7 people who work in our quaint 12’x15′ office. We recently had a good laugh upon our discovery that we actually have less space than the average cubical in India. There are a few bulbs out in our lights, but we have about 20 bulbs so no one notices the 8 that are either bad or just missing. There is way less storage space than we need, so every 6 months, we have a reorganization party with our interns. The look on their faces as we pat them on the back after the office and closet transformation is priceless. There are lots of extension cords and cables that are ran through the ceiling and along the floor because we don’t have enough outlets. People trip, surprisingly, infrequently. Our office flooded last year when a water pipe burst inside the wall. So, our base boards lay unglued from the walls, but we only lost one piece of equipment and had a few days working where ever we could find cozy space to borrow. To get to the bathrooms, copiers, and other co-workers, we walk outside through the rain, cold, and beautiful sunny days. I could go on and on about office adventures, spur of the moment sword fights, deep spiritual discussions, and our not-so-deep, but hilarious comedic banter. It’s been my sanctuary, a place of retreat, the place that has never left me lacking for a creative idea. Everyone knows our little space contains special powers…
But those special powers aren’t tied up in a the three and a half walls of a tiny little office, but in the friendships and bonds those close quarters have formed. I wouldn’t trade that for any corner office with a view. An office is made of a collection of people, not the cleaver styling of its spaces. I’ve had the privilege of working in, what I feel, is the best office in the world. It’s filled with spirit, life, love, creativity, and a massive amount of quirky character. How do you recreate that? You can’t. It’s one of those things that happens just a handful of times as an organization grows and changes. Cherish it. It’s hard to form that type of community any other way.
Now I’ve just got to figure out how to get 7 people in a new 6×10 office with central heat and air. Anyone ever heard of bunk desks?