Jonathan Lee joined CCM as the new CEO in January 2015. We sat down with him to find out how his first few months have been...
Your background is in engineering, how have you ended up at CCM?
It’s a bit of a long story……I did start off in engineering but then moved into procurement, managing purchasing teams and suppliers; I was in aerospace for about 15 years. It was about ten years in when I started to be challenged by God to see my work place as a place of ministry. In 2007 we visited a friend in Pakistan which opened up conversations about overseas work. On our return we began looking for opportunities to work overseas and found ourselves moving to Cairo, Egypt. I took on the role of Director of a programme working with refugees and asylum seekers. It really placed me in at the deep end, I had no experience of the plight of or systems for refugee/asylum seekers; and it was a completely different work culture. But I loved it! It was one of those times when you know you are where God wants you to be.
Returning to the UK in 2012 I joined the George Muller Charitable Trust as a church partnership consultant. I had a strong sense that God wanted me to apply for the CEO role at CCM even though I wasn’t looking for a new job!
What gets you excited about this role?
The one thing that I find so different about this type of organisation is the heart of the people that work and volunteer for it; that makes it worth coming in the morning. We’ve all got our different tasks but there is real community here.
What are the challenges that CCM face?
I think there is always more that could be done; the fact that the Wild Goose is not open on a Saturday and Spring of Hope is closed two nights a week, for example. When our night shelter is closed, women are sleeping rough. We’re not just about providing food and shelter but establishing relationship and journeying with people; this is a challenge, building up relationships takes time.
What makes CCM unique?
We very much put our Christian faith at the centre of the work. We are also distinctive by being a person focussed organisation. We help people with what they would like to change about their lives rather than telling them what needs changing. We are not driven to impact X number of people in a day, a week, a month. We journey with people for however long it takes and allow God to do His work.
What is your prayer for CCM today?
My prayer for CCM today is the prayer I have for every day; that everything we offer enables service users to experience Jesus at work and that they have the opportunity to encounter Jesus themselves.
And what’s your dream for CCM in the next five years?
To have a significant and greater impact on reducing rough sleeping and shortening the time between someone becoming homeless and coming back under shelter.