Tale of Two Clubs

Steven Murphy, Executive Director

November 23, 2015

It was the best of times, and the worst of times. Or so it would have seemed to a casual observer at the Service Clubs Leaders Conference this past week.

There were the tales of clubs struggling with aging members, slipping engagement, and a lack of interest in clubs by many, including the most commonly discussed group, “Millennials.” Yet there were also discussions of new clubs flourishing in unexpected ways: younger people are engaging, and clubs are becoming a vital force in the life of their communities and their members.

How is it that we have such divergent tales of service clubs? The truth is that the stories where the same in many ways. The difference was what the story focused on. The worst of times stories told of clubs struggling because society and people had changed, and the club’s structure and activities were no longer desired or working. The best of times stories told of people whose lives were changed by being helped, or who were helping others.

Tale of Two Perspectives

In the end, it was not the tale of two clubs, but of two of perspectives. Each based on a shared belief of what is most important. For the best of times, it required only a focus on the difference in people’s lives made possible by the club and members. If providing that service means members learn, adapt or simply make up new ways to get things done, all the better. That just gave them more ways to serve and new people to help in that service.

For the worst of times, the focus was on how things got done. How we do things is important, especially when those efforts work well and allow us to do more. But we used to write letters rather than make phone calls. We used to call instead of sending emails. Today we text and share documents 24/7 in the cloud. Technology is changing the “how” of our process, and we continue to adapt as an organization. But the most important thing to remember is why we do what we do.

The Future of Sertoma is in the Stories of Those We Serve

If we can adapt and increase the focus on who we help and why instead of just the “how,” we can look forward and truly believe that it can be the best of times for Sertoma!

I hope you enjoy our new website with a focus on the stories of those we serve and those who serve!

1 Comment

  • Bob Hill says:

    I’m sad to say I know where my club now is.

    I’m HAPPY to say, our current leadership recognizes it and is making every effort to move forward. Not by forgetting our storied old chapters past, but by building and creating our, shall we say, New Testament of stories future !

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