Have a Patient Pace

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

Have you ever asked this question? You know, the one said in a hurried state of mind: “How much longer?” And if you haven’t asked it recently (#pandemic), then that question will pop up soon. We all get antsy, wanting more, wanting forward motion. It’s that feeling when you need to use the restroom but the line is too long. Hurry up!!

For nonprofit work, when an idea strikes, it’s hard not to put that idea into motion right away. It will help people, so why wait?

Instead, we should mimic God who waits for us to catch up with Him. The pace of God may seem slower than our desired pace. Trusting His patience means we can display patience ourselves.

For example, consider waiting for the community at large to ask us to put into motion the program or fundraiser or process. Then, when the community needs it, the nonprofit has had an incubator period to develop a plan that isn’t a band-aid, but instead is a real permanent solution. Right now, think about those good ideas that hit you suddenly and are too exciting to pass up that aren’t built around a crisis. Of course, there will always be moments of crisis when the need is clear and it’s necessary to deploy your resources (time, talent, and treasure) immediately. That’s not a time for patience, but activity.

If we don’t rush a good idea, then there is sustained success. That time spent planning provides the ability to make sure we aren’t leaving anyone out in the process. Sometimes a nonprofit will leave out a client; The needs of who are being served are left out in pursuit of the grant, or the community awareness, or the notoriety. Being like God and slowing the pace allows for patience, full engagement, and inclusion of everyone.

Instead of asking, “How much longer?” ask “How can I be patient?” Wait, watch, see. And be slow. It will result in changed hearts and changed lives.

Are you feeling the pressure to hurry or the call to slow down? Now is the time to pause and reflect on your pace and patience.

Prayer: Jesus, I often get ahead of You. You keep Your promises by being slow and patient. I want to do the same.

What are your tactics to remember patience when a good idea comes? Share your thoughts on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

© 2020, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

How to Serve a Nonprofit Well

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14

Arloa Sutter in The Invisible: What the Church Can Do to Find and Serve the Least of These taught me the value of knowing the people you serve. And it’s not just understanding them as people and individuals—it’s knowing by experience.

Sometimes new nonprofits flop because the staff, volunteers, and sometimes even the board maintain distance from the people who need them the most. Living in the neighborhood, immersing yourself in that community’s struggles, and being part of the solution is a powerful position to change the world in the life of a person.

I’m not the one to talk. I’ve served on boards in another state, far from the work being done. I’ve tried to help nonprofits that only wanted my dollar bills, not my time or talent. Sometimes an organization wants my help because I’d bring a “fresh perspective” and some outside-the-group-think thinking. Yet, I knew that there was a part of me that just didn’t quite get it. I couldn’t connect with the clients, so my time and talent were not as useful to the organization.

The passage above can provide insight into the need for humility, grace, and God’s acceptance of all people no matter their list of sins. Re-reading it with an eye for motivation means that I have to read it knowing that I can be the Pharisee because of my motivation. It’s the internal intention that shows itself in humility and grace, or the lack thereof.

No matter your role or location, check your motivation. Do you serve for the luxury of being associated with an organization? Or do you have a passion for the work they do? Do you know clients, or just about the clients?

I’m not saying that everyone should quit their jobs, move, and become a client of a nonprofit. What I am encouraging is a reflection to make sure that you are not like the first man in the story that Jesus tells us. It takes humility, he says, to serve well.

Look at your motivations today. Are you the Pharisee or the tax collector? Share your thoughts on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for this blog post. Some of the links above are “affiliate links.” If you use this link, I receive a small affiliate commission. I recommend books, products, or services that I have enjoyed using and believe you will benefit from as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Pause for the Cause of Love

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

1 John 3:18

The best nonprofits are the ones who love on people by helping them. It sounds obvious, but many nonprofits talk a good game and never get around to helping people. They have great business cards and fancy websites, but no client stories. Did you know you don’t need a 501c3 letter of determination from the IRS to do some good? Instead, do what you are passionate about start to reach your mission. And when you need to hire help and raise money, then you formalize and register to receive your nonprofit status. Some of the best nonprofits start in a church basement, a garage, a corner of the living room. Or, if you are St. Valentine, in jail, hidden in homes, or in a judge’s office.

Sunday is Valentine’s Day. A day dedicated to love, to Hallmark cards, and to candy. And, to St. Valentine. This man helped persecuted Christians in the 200’s AD. It’s probably safe to say that St. Valentine’s Day has been around as long as anyone can remember.

For me, Valentine’s Day is a benchmark in the year to check in on my goals and see how I’m doing. You might consider how you are applying your word of the year, or how your focus has been on a resolution, or celebrate in your consistency in what you’ve set out to do.

With this day coming up, as nonprofit leaders it is a good time to pause for a cause and consider a few things:

  • Have I been consistent in what I set out to do this calendar year?
  • Have I been loving in all ways possible this calendar year?
  • How do people know that I’ve been consistent and loving this calendar year?

Since we are only about six weeks into the new year, it’s a great time to reflect and consider how you have been loving your volunteers, staff, and board, too. How have you mimicked St. Valentine and loved on people at your nonprofit?

Don’t love people in words alone. Love people with actions. Love people in truth. Are you keeping pace with your 2021 goals that reflect love? Take a few minutes to pause for the cause of love. And then share on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Prayer: Jesus, You have inspired so many movements and people to love well. Help me to do the same.

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

Who Will You Invite?

“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

John 1:39

When the ride share driver dropped me off, he asked if he should wait until I’ve made my way inside. Outside the warehouse in Chicago, the gangs marked their territory. Inside, the women laughed, talked, worked. I had been invited to visit a newer nonprofit in the city called HHPLift, which help women through becoming their employer in the program. The women couldn’t get jobs, maybe because of a conviction, or being a single mom, or housing instability. No matter the reason, they were there, making soap and earning money.

As we walked around their stations, each woman proudly told us about their role. At the end, we got to package the soap with them and hear their stories. One of them told me about President Obama’s former home, which had just gone up for sale. Another spoke about her kiddos and a third chatted about the commute she has to get to the warehouse. I’ve enjoyed following the organization. None of this would have occurred without the invitation.

Today’s verse reminds us that some of the first disciples became disciples because of an invitation. Andrew and another were hanging out by the river when John the Baptist said, “look, y’all, the Son of God!” (my paraphrase). The two got up and asked a question, “Where are you staying?” To which Jesus responded, “Come and see.”

In nonprofit work, we know we do not do the work alone. Funders, volunteers, and board members help the nonprofit get closer to reaching its mission. It begins with an invitation. Sometimes people are courageous to ask, and sometimes the invitation needs to be extended.

In the years since that visit to 1eleven, operations have expanded to so much more and I encourage you to take a peek. Come and see.

Challenge: Who is the one person who would enjoy being connected to the nonprofit you care about? How can you introduce them to come and see? Take the challenge and let us know on Facebook how it went! https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Prayer: Jesus, you ask us to come and see. May we follow this example and show others what you are doing.

Go to the opportunities that align with your values. Want some practical tips on how to define (or refresh) your values? Watch this FREE webinar, Core Values Re-Imagined. (And consider inviting a friend.)

Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.wordpress.com.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for this blog post. I recommend books, products, or services that I have enjoyed using and believe you will benefit from as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.