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The Power of Office Policy Manuals and Morning Prayers

There are all sorts of ways to do Office Policy Manuals in professional settings, and here at Enrollment Management, we’re in the midst of refining the sort of official version that you might expect we’d use (interview procedures, vacation policies, conflict resolution guidelines, financial and budget processes, etc.).

stephen payne

For a few years, though, we’ve also used Romans 12:9-16 (with verses 17-21 as helpful footnotes) as our “Official Office Policy Manual.” In those few short, but profound, verses in Paul’s letter to the Romans, you find out pretty much everything you need to know about operating an enrollment management team that has a commitment to helping students attend Andrews University, a place where men and women discover and fulfill God’s will for their lives.

In particular, it’s a great passage because it talks about the essential values of truly loving and honoring those you encounter, working hard, always helping others, and serving the Lord in what you do.

The heart of the passage, though, is verse 12, which suggests a core professional approach: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (New International Version)

I’ve discovered that latter admonition, and the early morning practice it inspires in Enrollment Management, is the office “policy” that makes the most difference.

I’ll confess our morning prayer time is never predictable or particularly polished; we sometimes read from devotional books, most often from the Bible. We share heartbreaking sorrows and deep joys in those gatherings, and sometimes we just silently raise our hands to indicate unspoken prayer requests.

At the heart, though, is the prayer. It becomes essential not just for the obvious reason—the Bible reminds us that it’s good to pray—but also because those prayers remind us that we are, in fact, powerless to do our jobs, let alone survive disappointment or properly celebrate success, unless God is a part of what we do. Those prayers remind us that on a customized and person-to-person level, we need to understand and respond to God’s will for each student (and individual) we encounter.

In the end, prayer connects our Enrollment Management to God’s will. It gives us the essential power to focus on His will and, in turn, to daily fulfill whatever office procedures, enrollment goals or overall possibilities God has in mind for us here at Andrews University.

- Stephen Payne

Andrews University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher education
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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104