His eye is on the sparrow, not the Humane Society

Speaking of World Gospel Mission, the organization’s Director of Champion Development, John Lee, checked in around 2:30 in the morning, infant son Jace in one hand, Reggie McNeal’s book The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church in the other, and the keyboard at his toes.

John notes that McNeal’s six challenges to the church are spot-on for nonprofit ministries seeking to coach their champions:

 

Quotes John quoting McNeal:

A church member culture will develop these resources quite differently from how a missionary culture would. Here’s an overview of the distinction between the two cultures in how they approach resource development.

Resource: Prayer
Member- praying for members, church program needs
Missionary- praying for unchurched, outreach efforts

Resource: People
Member- recruiting members into church activities
Missionary- deploying into community

Resource: Time
Member- finding time for church activities
Missionary- creating time for missions expression

Resource: Money
Member- raising money for club activities
Missionary- channeling money to mission initiatives

Resource: Facilities
Member- maintaining the clubhouse
Missionary- seeking ways to move out into the community

Resource: Technology
Member- supporting church ministries
Missionary- creating ministry opportunities in the world


A little cutting and pasting (substitute champion for member, nonprofit for church, cause for mission) and you’ve got a veritable primer in Transformational Giving. Thanks, John. You should sleep less often.

And while we’re shifting paradigms, let me give a tip of the cap to .W’s Matt Dubois who, as he did in the comments a few posts back, would remind us that the shift can’t simply be a shift of activity from internal to external, lest we inadvertently prompt our champions (our ourselves) to think that we’re saved by activity, or that God’s primary concern for us is to get off the couch and just do something.

The real motivation for shifting our focus from internal to external is not just that it is good development practice (which it is) nor that God is wringing His hands and moaning, “Will somebody please do something down there????” (He’s not; after all, this is the God that can raise up a substitute for Esther if she’s too busy, and the God Who can have the rocks cry out if your donor file is too wrapped up in your capital campaign to notice the play on the field).

The real motivation is that once the Spirit of Christ dwells within us, He focuses our attention on the cause/the field/the community and embodying God’s character within that in order to demonstrate the Gospel as we proclaim it. Because that is the character of God, and our ultimate Cause is to embody that.

In other words, His eye is on the sparrow, not the Humane Society.

So take a look at your recent newsletters and prayer letters and communications with champions: Are you informing them about your organization’s latest sparrow saving campaign? Are you soliciting them for  your organization’s latest organization saving campaign?

Or are you coaching them to have God’s heart for the sparrow and to move out in God’s power to bring God’s Word and God’s comfort to–OK, this analogy is breaking down because I don’t think sparrows understand English or like it when people touch them. But I hope you catch my point.

But if cause and organization still seem inseparably intertwined or even synonymous to you as you coach your champions, check out the bedtime story John was reading to his son this morning. I understand it put Jace back to sleep and kept John up all night, excited to put it into practice.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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