Issue No. 165 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features a poignant book of stories that’s a real page-turner with something for the head and the heart. It would make a great gift for donors this year. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Proof of the Pudding
It’s a tough call—but I think I appreciated this second book by Ron Hall and Denver Moore even more than their first book, Same Kind of Different As Me. For example, here’s some savvy wisdom from Denver (who grew up in virtual slavery, picking cotton and then surviving on the streets before he met Hall): “One day, I asked Mr. Ron, ‘Mr. Ron, all these white folks be invitin us to their Bible studies. How come none of ‘em’s invitin us to their Bible doins?’”
Last week’s book, Missional Renaissance, is all about “doing” versus just more preaching or studying. Ditto Denver. This second book is appropriately titled, What Difference Do It Make? Hall, the Dallas art dealer, and Moore, now a volunteer at the Fort Worth Union Gospel Mission, share poignant updates since their best selling book started an under-the-radar movement of mercy across America.
Their true, page-turning stories will astonish you: lunch at the White House, Ron’s reconciliation with his dying father, visits to more than 200 shelters and rescue missions, and a gutsy talk in one notable city to 1,700 dignitaries and potential donors (including the governor’s wife), calling that city’s shelter “the worst in America we’ve seen.”
Three things touched my head and my heart:
1) The co-authors have mixed in 11 short stories of hope and healing from others who have been touched by the first book. Astounding stories! There’s seven-year-old Lucy, who inspired neighbors and classmates to get involved. There’s Michael, who brought a homeless man to church (it didn’t go well with church members). A friend suggested that maybe “the homeless fella was Jesus in disguise.” Perhaps the proof of the pudding for any book ought to be a Book #2: “Here’s how Book #1 changed me.”
2) Hall calls for an insightful “Thirty-Day Plan to End Homelessness” (versus the 10-year plan popular in many cities). He’s discovered that the number of homeless people in most cities is less than the number of churches and other faith congregations. “Each body of believers, whether it’s fifty or a thousand strong, would assume collective responsibility for taking in one person and loving that person back into society.” He gives cautions—but his idea has merit (especially if churches worked with existing rescue missions).
3) As we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S. this week—and donate generously to organizations that serve the poor—are we truly caring, as Jesus cares, about those in need around us? As I mentioned in Issue 157, you can inspire your church or small group to engage people in a six-week campaign to make poverty personal. Use this week’s book for Christmas gifts (or gifts to donors) and you’ll inspire them to get serious about the 2,000 verses in Scripture that focus on poverty and injustice.
To order this book from Amazon, click on this title: What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing, by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) What difference does your faith make? Give yourself a grade (A, B, C, D, or F) on the “doing” side of being a Christ-follower versus the “Bible reading, Bible study, listening to sermons” side. Which side matters the most?
2) What do you think about Ron Hall’s plan to end homelessness? Working with a local rescue mission, could your church help one person?
Affirmation Assessment - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Hoopla! Bucket, Chapter 10, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to deliver dynamic doses of affirmation to your team members—regularly and intentionally.
You may think you do this well—but have you ever asked your team how they feel? Here are some simple questions you can ask in an anonymous online survey (I like SurveyMonkey) or just by the water cooler:
1) When is the last time you were affirmed by a team member here?
2) Do you get enough affirmation at work?
3) When is the last time you affirmed a team member for a job well done—or their unique contribution or faithfulness here?
4) What could we do to raise the bar on making affirmation a core value here?
Need ideas? The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their Employees, Retain Talent, and Drive Performance is a fantastic book. Order it on my Management Buckets website.