Month: July 2012

Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms

I have written before about harmful assumptions for development professionals ministering to wealthy donors. Just as real are the traps that donors fall into with ministry leaders. I say “with” because oftentimes they fall together. I want to be careful here because not every donor to a ministry and not every leader finds themselves in this situation. But enough do to make it a concern ...[Read More]

The One Thing


Ministering To Donors

I am going to upset some people now.  It’s not intentional but I think there is a good deal of misinformation that has been floating around for years about the idea of ministering to donors. I am not arguing with the overall concept of ministering to people – just with a couple of assumptions about what ministry is to donors. First it assumes donors (especially major donors) need a par ...[Read More]

Did I Hear You Call Me A Philanthropist?

  I grew up in a Protestant tradition that had no creeds.  Well we did sing "Just As I Am" and that was pretty close to a creed.  So when I branched out as a young adult and encountered the Apostle's Creed and especially the phrase "I believe in the holy catholic Church" I could not understand how the fellow Protestants were blithely mumbling the words withou ...[Read More]

Making Sure They Fail

  The real challenge in estate planning is not the technical and financial part.  According to Roy Williams at The Williams Group, only 2 to 3 percent of failed estate transfers were caused by professional incompetence on the part of advisors, accountants, and attorneys.  The major cause of failure is the lack of preparing the heirs for assuming the responsibilities and benefits of wealth. Wh ...[Read More]

A Good Evangelical Novel Is Hard To Find

  This blog is a little out of the ordinary for me, but a good friend sent me an article by Philip Jenkins with a provocative question. “Imagine you wanted to teach a course on Evangelical Christianity, past or present, what novels or similar texts might you use? One problem, of course, is for many years evangelicals had real doubts about the whole world of novels which they associated ...[Read More]

Tolerance Is My Second Choice

A friend who has a developed taste for politics but whose soul has not yet been taken over by the partisan body snatchers came by recently and dropped off a book that has helped me avoid the trap of cynicism and despair.  Like all of us who have had small children on road trips we are weary of hearing the kids call each other names point out minor infractions ("she's breathing o ...[Read More]

A Changing Mission

  Twenty years ago it was likely the missions pastor in a church would have been a retired missionary older pastor or a member of the staff who had worked with seniors in the congregation.  While missions overall was extremely important to the church and denomination ” the decisions about missions and mission giving were fairly simple. Supporting denominational programs or a group ...[Read More]

Excellence as a Dead-End

  John Gardner's books and essays on "Self-Renewal" have become classics and I for one hope they discover a whole new market among today's Millennials who are looking for meaning purpose and using their lives for something outside themselves.  Several times he cautions against becoming so good at something that we let other parts of ourselves atrophy and we "go to ...[Read More]