I hope to have a link to enable you to order the Coach Your Champions book shortly. One of the core concepts therein is the idea of creating a “champion map” or champion migration strategy–a chart that lays out in a Participation/Engagement/Ownership trajectory how a champion has grown and is growing towards full maturity in Christ in the cause that you both share.
In order to get the book’s editor off my back, I had to promise that I would post bounteous numbers of sample champion maps on this blog. And indeed, I’d be shocked if we didn’t do just that over the coming months, though maybe in a form or fashion very different than what you might expect.
But here’s why I’m slow to make those my initial posts:
As the number of organizations with which I’ve created those “maps” grows, the three things I’m finding are:
(1) Each map is harrowingly unique. So different are they that you’d almost have a hard time telling that each organization was actually even engaged in the same process.
(2) The process requires that the map be constantly reviewed and revised in light of what you learn from and with your champions as you do maps with each champion. If it’s worth anything, it’s got to be a living, breathing chart. And the revisions we make to those charts are typically changes in kind, not merely degree.
(3) Organizations have a harder time trying to adapt a map from another organization than they do beginning from scratch and building their own. It’s like trying to tell your own life story and starting by editing someone else’s. There’s no generic template that starts with categories like “pray”, “give”, and “teach” that is productive, since, while each map ultimately involves some iteration of those things, it doesn’t seem to be helpful to do so in a formulaic way that enables you to start with another organization’s journey. (I surely do value examples; however, in our field examples quickly become Xeroxes.)
So if you can’t start from another organization’s journey, where can you start?
The answer is obvious, if not painful:
You have to start from your own journey, and that of your existing champions. This gets at the idea of collaborating with your champions that we wrote about in yesterday’s post.
You have to start by asking, “How did God move me from knowing and doing next to nothing in relation to my cause to the point where I’m at today, entrusted with this cause in a major way?”
What I find is that almost none of us intuitively have a really good sense of the steps that God used to bring us to the level of maturity and activity in the cause where we’re at now. And it’s very telling that the last place most of us look as a starting point for coaching our champions is our own story.
The New Testament of the Bible (NIV translation) records three places where we’re urged to imitate those who are farther along in the cause than we are. If my claim in the book is correct–that we’re the most major donors our organization will ever get–then why are we not urging our champions to imitate us?
I don’t think it’s modesty. In fact, I think it’s the opposite. I think we have a hard time believing that our champions can realistically surpass us in what they do for the cause. (Interesting that Jesus himself had no such vision problem–see John 14:12.)
So the first step in preparing our organization’s champion migration strategy is not to a generic map that we download and tweak with quick customizations. It’s to the long road of our own experience, retracing it prayerfully as we ask, “God, how in the world did you bring me here? What were the transformational steps and moments you took me through? And what can I learn from my own journey about how to create a path or at least leave some markers on the way for the champions you’ve sent me to coach?”
Rather than putting up a link that says “Download customizable maps here“, I want to instead model the process for you by doing some posts in which I analyze how God brought me to where I am in this cause of Transformational Giving, and how that can inform how I coach others to full maturity in this cause.
The baring-all begins in the next post.