Have an Effective 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 some patience ourselves. For example, consider waiting for the community at large to ask 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. That time spent planning provides the ability to make sure we aren’t leaving anyone out in the solution or 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.

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

Is being patient hard or easy for you? Share your tips at @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

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

What Did Your Last Vacation Look Like?

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

This verse floated through my mind during “vacation” (which, let’s be real, was a “staycation”). At a nonprofit, it’s easy to never really on vacation. Some nonprofit professionals I know use vacation time to set an “out of office” auto response on their email, and then they spend the day reading emails and delay-sending them to the following morning. I know others who say they are on vacation, don’t respond to email, but to every text, phone call, and instant message on social media. I’ve been guilty of both in the past.

Or how about this scenario: You take a vacation day from “normal” work to volunteer for another nonprofit, or work on that partnership that will advance the nonprofit you work for, or to try to ignore the needs and still wonder about that client on the street. I’ve been guilty of this “vacation,” too!

This verse questions our wisdom in the reasoning of not taking time away from the daily rituals and strains. Some interpret this verse as a long-term strategy. Meaning, what should I spend the course of my life with, the totality of my days? It’s a reminder of our mortality. And that’s not a wrong interpretation. Evaluating the past (briefly) to talk to God about the future is a wise move.

Yet, during my last vacation, this verse was more immediate. I needed God to arrange my hours, the numerical units that made up just that day. Living for what was at hand seemed to be the plead of my heart.

So, I asked God to number my day; So that what I did in that day would be of benefit for the days to come. In other words, may this one day away from my paid nonprofit work be the foundation of the wisdom I need when I go back to that nonprofit work. May my heart be wise in the moment. And by doing so, I’ve set myself up for success in the future if I am constantly asking God to arrange my day.

Prayer: God, sometimes I get ahead of myself and try to count my days before they’ve arrived. Please help me in this moment to give You what is left of my day so that I may be wise in how I use it.

How was your last vacation/staycation? What did you do? How did you find that gave you wisdom for the days ahead? Wanna share? Leave a comment at Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Your job isn’t all that matters. Your life hangs in the work-life balance! Join me for a FREE webinar this Thursday, March 4th at 5:30 pm Pacific Time. Register here.

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

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

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.

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