All churches and nonprofits dream of having mature champions who contribute in mature and $ignificant ways to the mission of the organization. The challenge is, few organizations seem to have latched on to a method to predictably find or generate such people. Good donors and strong members remain the achingly rare exception rather than the rule.
Gerald Schlabach, author of Unlearning Protestantism, a brilliant book on how to be Protestant in all of the right ways and none of the wrong ones (after all, knowing what to protest and what not to is half the battle), suggests it’s because we moderns “have ever fewer resources for forming lives of Christian discipleship or communities of Christian witness.”
Or, as he puts it more bluntly later on down the same page (43):
After all, the formation of authentically Christian lives is unimaginable apart from communities of Christian character. If one is being formed, then one is not simply making discrete decisions but is developing habits that extend the character of one action into later ones. [Editor’s note: In Transformational Giving parlance, we would call this the P to E move.]
Habits require training, as one internalizes moral motor skills that one can only clumsily imitate at first, based on the example of others. If those habits are to be good rather than bad, however, practitioners must apprentice with those more advanced in the craft–in this case, the craftlike practice of Christian discipleship.
Having built a preliminary case over these last couple of posts for the “why” of coaching your champions corporately, we’ll begin to turn in our next post to the “how,” using a model I’ve been developing for years but am just now writing out in training form as part of a year-long workshop series I’m authoring in cooperation with the Memphis Leadership Foundation and my good bud, Larry “Cap” Lloyd.
If you’re tired of waiting for individually mature donors and disciples to drop out of the sky and your current development methods aren’t bearing much fruit in growing them up from the seed form in which they typically come, let’s meet up again on the other side of the weekend, right here on your favorite Transformational Giving blog, for Part III of Coaching Your Champions Corporately.