Starters and Sustainers

It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.

Romans 15:20

I’ve heard of several events that went from earning three or four-figure revenue to seven-figure revenue over the course of time. Those events become staples in a fundraising cycle for years, sometimes decades. One I know has been going on for 90 years. For that one, the dollar amounts ebb and flow. One thing is certain: as soon as one is done the event committee starts the next year’s planning and executing. No matter if an event is new or seasonal, it takes a few years to get it rolling into a routine. And for “regulars” to expect an exciting event. 

Someone envisioned the grander picture. They put time, energy, and resources to get it started. It’s these people that generally find the thrill in the freshness of a collaboration and can picture a beautiful future.

Still, someone else had to catch the vision, and keep it going. While event planning may be easier with some years of practice, that person must keep up energy, raise the quality or quantity (or both!), and fulfill the set expectations. And, sometimes, that person may also recognize when the event is dry, no longer relevant, or past its prime. Those that succeed may not receive as much credit or slip into the limelight as much as the founder and yet their role can outlive the founders’ beginnings.

Paul knew his mission for life. He started new areas of mission, visited unknown communities, and went where the gospel of Jesus wasn’t known. Others came after him to water the seed he planted. It takes both starters and sustainers to bring the best to fruition. We need starters and sustainers alike, in the kingdom, and in nonprofit events. Even more so, we need people who know which type of activity they prefer: starting or sustaining.

Which role do you find yourself in frequently? Do you tend to be an early adopter or pushing forward a proven concept?

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© 2022, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

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