Issue No. 218 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features a profound 90-page “novelette” that could mess with your current comfort level. The author quotes Martin Luther: “There are three conversions necessary to every man; the head, the heart and the purse.” And this reminder: check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Measuring the How
Whoa! This will get your attention!
In this week’s book, the board chair of a Seattle-based ministry drops this bomb on the vice president (in-training) for international resource development:
“I can still remember the day when we shared with the board that we were going to begin measuring our success in fundraising based solely on activity and not outcome.”
What? There’s more. This time from the CEO of Hands of Love International, (“which had the fortunate acronym HOLI”):
“The breakthrough for us came when we were challenged to consider that if we were faithful in how we carried out our work of raising up faithful stewards we could trust that God would be faithful in what that work produced. So we began to figure out how to measure, train, and budget for the how.”
Peter, the board chair in this paradigm-busting novelette by R. Scott Rodin (author of The Steward Leader and co-author of The Sower, among other books), then adds, “Never tell God what to do, and never tell God’s people what they are to give. You just might end up underestimating the generosity of both.”
Let me stop here and insert perhaps the most compelling sentence of this review—one of my clients just ordered 50 copies of this book! He personally presented The Third Conversion to every board member, senior team member and development team member. This 90-page gem may be his best contribution yet in his goal of building a God-honoring stewardship movement for the ministry.
What makes Rodin’s book so powerful—with so few pages?
--It’s a quick read. Everyone you give it to will read it.
--It’s filled with teachable moments. You’ll follow Walt, the retiring VP of development, as he coaches and mentors his successor, Carl, in actual appointments with ministry supporters (some with high passion and others who have been abused and/or disappointed by the ministry). It’s real life with real learning in every chapter.
--It’s profound. When faced with a new paradigm (low pressure, but high prayer and sensitivity to growing a giver’s heart for God), Carl responds, “Wow, Walt, that’s a real zinger to me.”
--It’s dangerous. Walt admits, “It kind of un-anchors all of your moorings for this work.”
--It’s biblical. In Rodin’s unique epilogue, he writes, “…if you are among those who refuse to accept this teaching but insist on hanging onto practices and techniques that produce transactions without transformation, then I pray you will be upset and unnerved by this book. I pray that Carl and Walt’s stories will stay with you and be used by God to slowly open your heart and mind to these important truths.”
Who should read this book? Almost everyone in your organization: Givers and non-givers, CEOs and senior team members, development team members—and board members (especially board members).
Rodin again: “Organizations as well as individuals are embarked on a journey of faith and faithfulness. For an organization, this journey is influenced primarily by its culture. And ministry leaders are culture keepers. They are tasked to define reality, articulate values, and exhibit consistent behaviors that become the cultural moorings of the organization. When organizations define their reality in kingdom terms, articulate their values in alignment with biblical, holistic stewardship, and exhibit behaviors that indicate their commitment to the journey of the faithful steward, they engender a culture of giving.”
The Third Conversion, by R. Scott Rodin, is available only from Kingdom Life Publishing.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Whoa! Dare we even stick our toes in the water of “leaving the results up to God?” What performance measurements would we give to our development team? What might be the upside of being activity-driven versus results-driven?
2) Rodin cautions Christian development professionals: "This is a bad time to get good at doing old things. The new wine of this biblical way of raising ministry resources requires new wineskins." On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 is Very Biblical), how biblical are we in raising resources?
Boring Meetings = Bad Decision-making - 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 that really bad, boring meetings lead to really bad decision-making.
According to an article in Spirit Magazine, Patrick Lencioni “argues that bad meetings lead to poor decision-making, which ultimately creates mediocrity in organizations. In addition, Lencioni says that bad meetings not only exact a toll on the attendees as they suffer through them, but also cause real human anguish in the form of anger, lethargy, and cynicism, and even in the form of lower self-esteem. And that's something those of us who've endured and continue to endure countless lengthy, often pointless meetings can definitely agree with.”
For books and resources to add sizzle to your meetings, including the "WOW Factor Meeting Evaluation" form, visit the Meetings Bucket webpage.