Issue No. 197 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting highlights a short, but powerful book for givers and those who help people become generous givers. Some leaders are ordering this gem by the dozens. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Seed Bag Handoff
With almost 200 of my book reviews clogging your email, it’s rare to review a third book from the same author. You can guess the likely suspects: Drucker, Lencioni, Blanchard, Hybels, and Ram Charan. Today I’m adding Scott Rodin to the list.
In Issue 196, I raved about Rodin’s book, The Steward Leader. And way back in Issue 35, I encouraged you to read his zinger, The 7 Deadly Sins of Christian Fundraising. So here’s another Rodin elbow-in-the-ribs, with co-author Gary Hoag, The Sower: Redefining the Ministry of Raising Kingdom Resources.
“This book was written,” say Rodin and Hoag, “to provide momentum for a movement aimed at the heart of every person involved in the process of raising resources or giving money for the work of God’s Kingdom.” They add, “The movement we are supporting is an effort to move away from the commonly used transactional approach to raising money and toward a more biblical approach of transforming hearts. Put a different way, it is realigning priorities to place changed hearts toward God above changed bank balances.”
Does this signal the end of fundraising workshops and development consultants? “It is a new order that seeks to develop faithful stewards whose hearts are rich toward God. It redefines development work as ministry in the Kingdom of God. And it replaces manipulative techniques and closing strategies with a dependence on prayer and relationship-building as the essential tools for success.”
Urging Christian leaders, development staff and givers to stop “doing ourselves to death,” the authors warn that “God is primarily concerned with our being before our doing.”
“You can’t lead others on that journey,” says Rodin, “if you’re not on that journey yourself. Herein lies one of the greatest hypocrisies in the Kingdom of God: people who are poor personal stewards trying to do development work in the name of Jesus. We have spiritually stagnant people in charge of a ministry of seed sowing.”
Rodin adds, “This insight was a paradigm shift for me. When I realized that my primary calling as a development person was to be used by God to cultivate hearts to be rich toward Him, everything I did changed.”
And…that gritty discernment shows up in just the first 11 pages. Yikes! The entire book is just 76 pages, plus the appendix and the notes. Rodin gets the first 27 pages and Hoag delivers Part II, “The Seasons of Work for the Sower.” You’ll get the CliffsNotes by reading the four convicting charts: bullet point contrasts between “Secular Fundraising” and “Biblical Steward-raising” in the four seasons of the work of the sower: winter, spring, summer and fall. (Both Rodin and Hoag have farming in their blood—and some pretty good illustrations.)
Hoag urges CEOs and CDOs (chief development officers) to help boards and colleagues understand that God is the Fundraiser. “He is the One Who works in people’s hearts to move them to participate in His work through giving. If you don’t, they will think you see yourself as a fundraiser.”
This is powerful, radical, revolutionary stuff—and I wonder why some pastors and parachurch leaders don’t get it. Three cheers for these two gutsy authors!
Hoag: “At this moment, take an inventory of your own life. If you are called to help people grow as a steward, be assured that God will want you to grow more deeply in this area as well. If you are not interested in taking such a spiritual journey, please consider a different role than that of a Christian leader, stewardship officer or pastor. Why? In that role, you are in a position to have an incalculable impact for the Kingdom, so if you are not interesting in sowing, please hand the bag of seed to someone else.”
Note: This book is published by ECFA Press (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). Dan Busby and Wes Willmer felt so strongly about its message they sent a complimentary copy to every CEO and senior pastor in their membership. Already, members are ordering boxes of the books to give to board members, staff members and givers. Visit the book’s website to download a sample chapter.
To order this book from Amazon, click on the graphic below: The Sower: Redefining the Ministry of Raising Kingdom Resources, by R. Scott Rodin and Gary G. Hoag.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Rodin says we are either “owners” or “stewards.” Which one are you? “Your job might be one of those things in your kingdom. If you believe that you absolutely must have your job, that you cannot afford to lose your job, that you don’t know what you would do if you ever lost your job, then you are playing the owner of that job. As you try to control it, it will put you in bondage. If you want to be free, then say to God, ‘Lord, you have me here for a time, when you are finished, move me on. I know you will prepare another place for me. In the meantime, I will live in freedom in my relationship with my job.’”
2) Do you need to hand the seed bag to someone else?
Meetings W.O.W. Factor - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Meetings Bucket, Chapter 20, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to create a welcoming environment for every meeting—and the meeting begins when the first person arrives.
Henrickson’s Law of Meetings says, “If you have enough meetings over a long enough period of time, the meetings become more important than the problem they were intended to solve.”
Skilled meeting facilitators have a sixth sense about the “WOW Factor.” You don’t need a knock-your-socks-off extravaganza in every meeting, but you need to monitor the meeting temperature constantly. The room temperature is important, but the group temperature is critical. The WOW Factor is easy to remember: Welcoming, Organized, and Warm.
Caution! Routine meetings quickly spiral into boredom and sheer agony. Each of the four social styles (analyticals, drivers, amiables and expressives) has different expectations from your meetings. If you are not a skilled meeting facilitator and you “don’t know yet what you don’t know,” then at your next meeting, ask two or three people to quietly evaluate the WOW Factor of your meeting with our checklist (download it from the Meetings Bucket on the Management Buckets website).
Nonprofit Board Governance Workshop
Oct. 7 – Orange County, Calif.
Mastering the Management Buckets Workshop
Nov. 16-17 – Orange County, Calif.
The Rolling 3-Year Strategic Plan Workshop
San Dimas, Calif.
Day 3 of 3: Nov. 15, 2010