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 called 1eleven. 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? Join me this Thursday (2/4/21) for a FREE webinar, Core Values Re-Imagined at 5:30 PT/8:30 ET. Register here. (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.

Should a Board Member be Required to Give Financially?

He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.

Mark 4:21-24

The board chair winced visibly. As a contract grant writer, I went to the board meeting for a brief training on grants and foundations. I had just asked how many board members give financially to the organization.

Board giving can be a difficult and controversial subject. Some boards require the board members to give financially. Others ask that if the member can’t give personally, they must solicit their network for that total. Generally, if a board is diverse and reflects the community you serve, then it’s expected to have some who have graduated from the program as well as those who have networking influence on your board. Your board could be comprised of those that give of their talent those that give of their treasure, and those that give purely time on your board.

On the other hand, it’s clear where people’s priorities lie by reviewing their pocketbook and their calendar. A committed board member should be giving to the nonprofit, even if it is a small amount, to show their loyalty. And, some foundations find this as a marker of a healthy organization and so they ask that question on their grant applications, “What percentage of your board gives financially?” Which is why I was asking if the board members of this new nonprofit were committed enough to give of their finances.

What I find in this today’s verse is that both positions can be correct; You can require board members to give, or you can bypass that requirement. What is more important is that board members are sharing about the organization. They should be the leaders when it comes to talking about what the nonprofit is doing and bringing light wherever they go as followers of Christ. Don’t put the lamp under a bowl; Share about the nonprofit as it is appropriate, whether you give financially or not. Step two is a financial gift that you are being led to give or helping others to give financially. There is no one correct way.

There’s a bonus lesson in this passage: What you bring to the nonprofit—to the service that God has called you to do—will be measured back to you. Maybe not directly dollar for dollar, but you’ll see the effects of what you pour into the nonprofit and share about the nonprofit. For example, you may take a friend to lunch and talk about the nonprofit. You gave your time and attention to the nonprofit with your friend. Unknowingly, your friend starts giving $10 per month to the organization because of your light, the excitement, you shared. The measure has been used, and some!

Can you remember a time you heard about a nonprofit from a board member? What was it about that conversation that showed their excitement for the nonprofit? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Prayer: Jesus, I want to be useful and help Your kingdom grow. If that is through giving time, talent, or treasure to a nonprofit, lead the way! I’m right behind You.

Whether you give of your time, talent, or treasure begins with your core values. Join me next week on Thursday (2/4/21) at 5:30 pm PT/8:30 pm ET for a FREE webinar, Core Values Re-Imagined. Register here.

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

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

3 Questions Before Talking About a New Program

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.

Mark 4:21-24

In the nonprofit sector, most tragedies and PR nightmares have roots in a misconception or something revealed before it was ready for public exposure. It’s like the metaphor of a candle. Without some preparation of wax, oil, and matches, an idea can’t spark light in others. Likewise, putting an idea in public before others have their candles ready to accept the light can be risky and damaging. To protect the small flame of an idea, program, or concept, consider when it is appropriate to expose it to the cold winds that it could find in the public square.

For example, a board is facing the challenge of starting a new program. The CEO sounds really excited about it, but the math isn’t lining up on how much this new program will cost. A board member walks to their car after another turbulent meeting, and a friend runs into you. Fresh from the meeting, they ask how things are, and you are honest: “We’ve just been though another meeting. While there’s exciting things happening, I’m just not sure of the way forward for this program.” Unbeknownst to you, your friend is friends with an employee at the organization. In fact, this friend was on the way to meet up for lunch. Guess what the topic of the lunch conversation is?

Where is it appropriate to talk about those items that could be sensitive to share with people? A board meeting, the staff meeting, and with people already involved (and not by permission of gossip). That is the time to battle out possible issues, ask about sustainability, and to prepare for the announcement.

I read a book Great at Work that helped me understand this concept more of fight and unite. In the book, Morten Hansen discusses how it can be okay for people to have differing opinions in a meeting. Consensus decision-making can be fatal to a great idea. Instead, during a meeting about the topic, air the items that may cause conflict to refine ideas and reveal roadblocks. After the brainstorming, the refinement (which can’t be done without a little heat!), and the selection, the team should unite. Meaning, they leave the meeting knowing that although they have stated their disagreement and were heard, ultimately, they support the decision the team will move forward on publicly. The team will be united in their forward motion.

This fight and unite concept negate the needs for meetings after the meeting, sent emails with a request to delete after reading, and rumors that may hurt the nonprofit seeking to reach its mission. As today’s verse says, what you give you’ll receive even more. Being respectful of the team’s decision means your decisions will be respected, too. If you talk about the nonprofit’s inner workings, what you talk about will come back around. You’ll hear yourself from someone else and you might not like what you hear!

So how do you know when it’s appropriate to share something about a nonprofit? Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Has it been approved by the board officially? (Fight and unite.)
  • If the CEO was in the room, would I hesitate to talk about it? (In other words, if it ended up on the top of tomorrow’s social media feed, what could be the repercussions?)
  • What is my motivation on sharing about the issue? What will be gained?

A bonus question to ask yourself is, do I have the time and energy to engage on this topic as a subject matter expert? You may not feel like the expert, but your role will position you to be viewed as the expert.

Board members, staff members, and volunteers are still human. They will want to connect with people and that is okay. Let your light shine, just don’t give away all your matches and spare wicks in the process.

Prayer: Lord, it’s hard to know the way forward sometimes. Guide me in my thoughts, actions, and words so that I can see your kingdom light up.

Consider a time you saw a team “fight and unite.” How was the outcome of that project? Successful or not? Share your thoughts on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

One final tip–your personal core values can become a stabilizing factor when you are launching a new program. Join me for a a one-hour FREE webinar this Thursday on January 21, 2021 at 5:30 pm PT to find your Core Values Re-Imagined. Learn more and register here.

Photo by Ai Nhan 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. 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.

When Do You Launch a New Nonprofit or a New Program?

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

Mark 4:26-29

It’s the new year, when people think about new habits, new programs, and maybe new nonprofits.

Yet some of the longest-running nonprofits I’ve come in contact with started with someone already doing the work. The founder jumped in because they saw a way to help people and started working with the people needing help. Their passion was contagious. Then, others started taking up the mantel and joined in. Those first volunteers, donors, and friends became board members. And those board members of long ago knew when the time was right to make it a nonprofit, and not a second too soon. From there, whether the founder was around or not, the work continued.

Whether the founder, staff, or board, it’s important for a group to know when it is appropriate to move and when to step back and watch the nonprofit and its program(s) grow on its own. Sometimes an organization will sprout into a new program before the original had a chance to show if it will thrive or not. That first program has to be ready to run itself before the nonprofit ventures into a new program. Know when your program is ripe.

Today’s verse shows the power of giving space for things to grow and not getting caught up in the details. This is an important lesson for board members or founders, who feel the rush of starting something new, whether that is a new nonprofit, a new program, or a new capital campaign. The important take-away is to know when it is time to harvest and time to plant; One program at a time.

Board members need to know when programs or policies are ripe, by watching what is occurring. That does not mean they are fertilizing the soil, transplanting, or otherwise getting involved in the process. Board members are not involved in the day-to-day duties and needs of the nonprofit. Boards exist to note when it is time to harvest or plant new seed. In other words, the board is there not as primary volunteers and definitely not staff, but as policy creators and strategy advisors for the executive team.

Whether your organization began small or big, consider these key take-aways:

  • Don’t move into a new program until your other programs are self-sustaining.
  • If you are a board member, be cautious in getting involved in the day-to-day unless there are no staff.
  • Be brave enough to focus on one movement at a time, then harvest the rewards.

Here’s the lingering question: When do you know the time is right to harvest? Share your thoughts and stories on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

One final tip–your personal core values can become a stabilizing factor when you are launching a new program. Join me for a a one-hour FREE webinar this Thursday on January 21 2021 at 5:30 pm PT to find your Core Values Re-Imagined. Learn more and register here.

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

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

Worth the Wait: How You Can Still Focus While Being Patient

Author’s Note: Thanks to Brian of Writing for Your Life, not only for publishing the blog post below, but also for his encouragement of spiritual authors. Be sure to check out the Writing for Your Life site. Below is an excerpt of the blog posted 12/30/20. You can read it in it’s entirety here.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

Ecclesiastes 7:8

Have you ever been in a situation like this? You are at home, sitting on the couch. Then you get up and look out the window. Then, back to the couch. Maybe you’ll try to read a book; Maybe not. Set down the book. Look out the window. Wonder if the clock is going backward. Wonder if you should call.

All to see the installation truck come 30 minutes later than anticipated.

Recently I waited for the person to come and install our internet. If you’ve gone without internet, you’ll agree it’s much harder than you think. The reason for the delay was legit, but it tested my patience. I hope I displayed more patience in that situation than in others. If I did have more patience, then it came from one activity: writing. Displaying patience while writing is like waiting for internet when you really need it.

Plenty of classes and seminars exist to help discover the publishing and writing industry (and most of the great ones are here on this site). Degrees exist to help hone the craft. Groups provide accountability and encouragement. But where is the lesson on how to be patient and not stalk publishers? I would like to see that checklist, please!

To be patient means to be active while waiting. I learned that from my mother who is a saint and my picture of perfect patience. She isn’t lazy, but she isn’t idle either. She builds, plans, shapes; And then she sees the flowers bloom, or the stew reach perfection, or the relationship strengthened.

I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of patience in other people, too. As a writer, many have gone before us with stories of rejections, years passing in waiting, and the forever string of edits and requests. And the conclusion of their story is the contract, the agent, the book. It is a picture of actively waiting.

Years ago, at a conference, I found out that the Hebrew language has several different words for waiting. For example, Psalms 27:14 says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” The “wait” in this verse means, “to bind together (by twisting)” in Hebrew. That reminds me of my mom. Always busy, always patient; Creating a tapestry by twisting and building with focused energy. Patience pays off when idle hands are kept busy; And more than busy—focused on the goal. Actively waiting is biblical and necessary in patience, and in writing.

Another passage helped me understand the value of actively waiting and staying focused on my writing. Psalm 37:7a, which says, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him….” This “wait” denotes whirling. It is a different word from Psalms 27 but still translated as “wait” in English. Both words lead us to think about spinning and creating. God’s proactive waiting takes work, time, and creativity.

And it’s not just patience that a writer needs to successfully wait. The element of focus must also be present.

Can I share with you how I know writing has increased my focused patience while I was waiting? It’s a ten-year long story….

Read the rest of this blog and my own personal story of patience here.

Photo by Juliet Furst 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 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.

How to Overcome Burnout

Joshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God….And all the people gave a great should of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Ezra 3:9, 11b

Have you been overwhelmed? Burnt out?  Tired of being tired?

For me, I find myself in that state during the holidays. For those who work in nonprofits, Christmas is a busy season: fundraising before the calendar year closes, hosting extra parties, feeling compassion fatigue from the extra needs from clients during chilly weather and chilly relationships.

I remember one particularly crispy burned-out season. Yet again, I was tired, agitated, and emotional beyond what was “normal.” It’s the sign that I once again reached burnout. It was Thanksgiving, and all I could do was lie on the bed. And, to boot, I was on a mission trip. I couldn’t get out of bed. How embarrassing for a Christian not to serve on a day aimed to remind us of what we have to be thankful for!

That day, the last time I acknowledged my burnout, was also the turning point on my understanding of my calling. When someone phones-a-friend, and that friend is me, I have no problem saying “sure” in the attitude of servanthood. I had said “sure” to so many things that I was involved in nine different organizations, all doing amazing things and reaching for their missions. How can something so great make you so tired?

While I read today’s passage, Ezra struck me because he could have been burned out and tired before the end of chapter one! Rebuilding the temple is a big job and God handed it to the right person. But God didn’t hand it just to Ezra; He handed it to the Israelites.

Ezra shows us by example how to overcome burnout:

  • He had the backup of leadership (Cyrus)
  • He allowed people to self-select and opt-in on their own
  • He put supervisors into place and made sure they were of one mind and tribe—that they had a singular mission
  • He celebrated the bench marks along the way

Ezra inspires me to empower those on the team already, and to help find new volunteers who are excited to grow.

Burnout is real. That Thanksgiving so many years ago started me on a journey of understanding calling, burnout, and my mission better. I want to offer you two options to help you on your own journey:

  1. Read Burnout by Brad Hambrick. This short book is one of the few books in my life I’ve read more than once.
  2. Discover Your Why (or re-define your why) through a one-hour FREE webinar on January 7 at 5:30 pm PT. It will be a great way to kick off the new year and light your candle for the mission(s) you love.

In the meantime, who is on your team that can lighten the load by growing under your leadership? How will you celebrate the work you do together? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks: https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

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.

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

Who Do You Follow?

Author notes: This is a repost from earlier this year. It reminded me of a short fictional story I wrote and thought I would share with you, based on John 7:32-49. Enjoy!
——————————————————————————————————————–
He stood up. Oh no, I thought, this is going to be a disaster.

A Christmas Eve service is my favorite moment during the Christmas season. It’s the one time that it feels like Christ’s birth is recognized before I am once again covered in consumerism. The feeling is like being wrapped with a hastily bought pre-made bow meant to rouse the receiver to believing a greater value of a re-gift. In other words, the season, apart from the Christmas Eve service, feels like smoke-and-mirrors to me: a bad white elephant gift.

So when the man stood up in the middle of the calm, candle-lit serenade of “Silent Night,” I feared the Christmas magic of a treasured memory would vaporize into another smoke-and-mirrors illusion.

He was the rebel. We all knew it. My small group leader whispered to me earlier that he was from the south side. Someone else asked during last week’s prayer session that we pray for him because she thought he was possessed. I can’t blame them in that assumption. After all, he was socially uncouth, loud, and almost heretical in the claims he randomly declared “truths.” I had not verbalized my own concerns—that he was here to stay in our small congregation, showing up each week with a new odd question that would take too long to answer during Sunday School, veering us from the carefully crafted lesson plan.

When I saw him at the Christmas Eve service, I guided my family to the other side of the sanctuary. No one was going to destroy this one moment. I deserved a holy night.

He stood up. And loudly, over the sound of the piano, bright as the candle that was dripping wax on my cardboard protector, yelled, “I am the light of the world!”

The piano stopped. We all looked at the far corner. We looked at his face that wasn’t anything like the others around us. We looked at his unkempt manners, at his rebellion. We looked. And we stared.

He stood up, interrupted our Christmas Eve service, and now commanded that we acknowledge him as the light of the world. How dare he.

——————————————————————————————————————–
This fictional scene draws parallel to John 7:32-49. The Scripture tells us Jesus was at the Feast of Tabernacles. Each year, around October, the Jewish community gathered to watch the priest pour water on the altar, while the people chanted a prayer for God to send rains for the winter harvest. On the last day—“the greatest day”—the people walked around the temple seven times (like Jericho). It is this day that “Jesus stood and said in a loud voice ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him’” (John 7:37-38). It would be similar to someone standing up in the middle of “Silent Night” at a Christmas Eve service and proclaim themselves as the light of the world. Which, in fact, Jesus did in John 8:12. He declared himself as light of the world.

Meanwhile, “the Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him” (John 7:32) and were determining how to kick Jesus out of their club. Their conspiracies and overheard mumblings occurs before and after the feast.

And all the while, I wonder, how would I respond to such a rebel? If someone were to go against my traditions that were part of my religious routines, would I lay down those habits and follow his example, or would I shush him and ask him to sit? Am I a Pharisee or a Follower? When have I stood up?

I follow a rebel. Do you? Share your thoughts on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

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

How Should a Nonprofit Engage in Marketing?

When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region.

Matthew 9:23-26

I shared with my friend about a nonprofit called Embrace Washington doing a lot of good for children in foster care. She immediately said, “Oh wow! That’s cool what they are doing, how can I get involved?” I was spreading the word just by being excited about this nonprofit’s programming and the outcomes they created.

Embrace Washington has real impact, and my excitement is enough to encourage others to get involved. I realized in that moment that the nonprofit had an excellent program and I had become a marketer on behalf of the organization.

If you work at a nonprofit, do you shudder when someone says, “marketing?” That word can bring up suspicious feelings. Some may think marketing as being untruthful by “putting spin” on a situation. They might remember someone yammering on about a nonprofit in a self-promoting way. Others remember an event that doesn’t hold substance and has 20 solicitations for money. In addition, some nonprofits tend to not employ marketers or consider their marketing plan as integral for them to reach their mission.

However, marketing is necessary and it can be done with integrity. Think of it this way: Marketing is influence (Kay & Shi). John Maxwell teaches that leadership is influence. Therefore, it is possible to view good marketing as good leadership. A bad leader (influencer) is memorable, and so is bad marketing (influence). Those that influence have an obligation to pursue their mission with consistency in all things at all times. If that seems overwhelming, think about how you talk about nonprofits you care about and how you keep on message about the mission. Staying focused on a positive message is good influence and good marketing.

How is it possible to be a good leader and a good marketer? The Bible shows how Jesus “marketed” the ministry in three steps:

  1. Jesus saw that the situation at hand as positive. Good marketing reveals the vision and mission at every turn.
  2. Jesus stayed on mission. He did what He was sent to do, no matter if people laughed at Him or not.
  3. Jesus continued the work. When your nonprofit has programs of excellence and a track record of consistent outcomes and real change in people’s lives, people notice. Good leadership and solid programing produce excellent marketing.

In the end, the best marketing is your strategic plan of how you will be a positive influence. If you continue to be a nonprofit on a mission, then you will have stellar programs with worthy leaders. Word will spread fast—and that is marketing at its finest.

How have you seen a nonprofit stay on mission and that became what everyone was talking about? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

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

Three Questions to Define Your Passion

So my mouth was opened and I was no longer silent.

Ezekiel 33:22b

During a worship service, each member of the worship team gave their life verse and why they chose it. One woman clearly had a calling. She repeated Proverbs 31:8 which says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Her passion was to use her voice (and boy could she use it to sing!) Before she belted out an old hymn, she said, “Don’t be silent.”

That moment happened eight years ago. I don’t remember what others said, but I remember her because it was clear she could no longer be silent about her passion. It came from depths unknown and was so pure. Her song resonated with me, and started me on the journey to find my own passion.

When you see passion in someone else, it’s obvious and clear as a bird singing in the morning. It cuts through the other noise. How do you know when you’ve found your passion and your voice?

Think through these three questions to define your passion:

  1. When was the last time that you noticed your heart was beating fast because you knew you had to say something or do something? If you can’t remember, be on the lookout for the next time you just can’t stay silent.
  2. When was the last time that you heard someone speak and it stuck with you for years? We hear so much content and voices these days that when you remember a specific example, it’s worth paying attention to. In Becoming a Person of Influence, John Maxwell shares that “most people can recall only 50 percent of what they hear immediately after hearing it. And as time passes, their ability to remember continues to drop. By the next day, their retention is usually down to about 25 percent.” What you remember is critical to…well…remember.
  3. What have you heard in the silence? Sometimes it’s not what you hear, but what you don’t hear. Through prayer, you’ll be able to find the gap. Find where there is a place for you to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8).

When you have found your voice, you are responsible to use it well. When God opens your mouth, don’t be silent. Share your passion and use it to do good in the world for His name’s sake.

What is your passion? Share it on Facebook: facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

As we head into the new year, it’s a great time to massage your passion by Discovering Your Why. Join me for a one-hour webinar on January 7 at 5:30 pm PT. Learn more and register here.

Photo by Amy Tran on Unsplash

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

How to be the Smartest Person in the Room

Caption: Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

“When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly….When Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathach, one of the kings’ eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.” Esther 4:1, 4-5

Being the new person on the team is hard and uncomfortable. You don’t know the “norms” and what is acceptable. You want to appear to be smart and successful, so you may choose to cover embarrassing characteristics or history.

I’m experiencing that again as I join a new team. I was listening to a webinar from Dr. Ivan Misner, who said, “If you’re ‘always’ the most successful person in a room – you’re hanging out in the wrong rooms!” That convinced me I am in the “right” room with this new team. Even in my short time on the team, I’ve already said embarrassing things that had people laugh nervously. I’ve already tried to cover up, when instead I needed a new perspective and a new tactic on how to discover the “norms” of this team.

This desire to cover up what could be embarrassing or unwanted is seen in the book of Esther. When Queen Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, heard that everyone from his religious background was to die as part of a genocide, he put on quite a show. Esther heard about it and sent him clothes. She wanted to hide what she thought was wrong.

And then when Mordecai refused, Esther did something very wise. She asked a question. Instead of continuing to push Mordecai to cover up, she upped her curiosity.

To deploy this wisdom and become the smartest and most successful person in the room, do these things:

  • Get into rooms and circles where you are not the most successful or smartest.
  • Resist the initial desire to cover up or ignore the undesirable. Be honest in who you are and what you bring to the group.
  • Most importantly, ask questions.

Here is the challenge that I pass along to you: Spend a full day asking questions only. It’s harder than it may seem, but the growth and understanding will be infinitely more valuable than proving you are the most successful and smartest in the room.

And after you’ve spent a day asking questions, come back and tell me how it went on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

© 2020, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.wordpress.com/how-to-be-the-smartest-person-in-the-room