by Mary Peterson, Heartbeat Housing Specialist
When studying organizational development, you learn that the shift between stages is a very challenging season. Moving from founding and early decision making into a stage of sustaining and stability demands different skills and leadership strategies. Below are a few thoughts on things you can do to help ease that transition.
by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International President
There are very few instances where the label for clothing “one size fits all” is really true. This is because, for people both “size” and “fit” can vary widely amongst the “all!”
The same is true for organizations populated by people serving communities that both have diversity within, but are also different from other communities. An organization is best when it is more like an organism – able to adapt in such a way so as to leverage its greatest strengths in the best way to meet the mission amidst the unique needs of those it serves.
Pregnancy help can take many forms, or methods – from one time visits to extended care to full-on housing – all for our life-affirming mission. Similarly, at the heart of Heartbeat International is our mission to advance pregnancy help. Sometimes, that’s been a hand-in-hand effort actively consulting a steering committee through key milestones toward a fully functioning service location. Many other times, that journey has been guided only through various written materials serving as building blocks toward that same end.
The idea of Built by Design, a manual released in 2017, was to put those two concepts together into a multi-layered resource able to go far beyond the physical limitations of Heartbeat team members.
At Heartbeat International, our approach to pregnancy help is intentionally grassroots. Heartbeat was called into existence by local pregnancy centers and medical clinics when it formed in 1971. Today, maternity homes, medical clinics, adoption agencies and pregnancy resource centers are responding to a local need. What works in New York, New York, won't be the same as what works in Inskip, California – and it's more than just a difference of urban or rural. It's the local culture, the political climate, the fundraising sources.
Those kinds of differences affect everything in a local organization from a name for your center that will communicate a safe place for clients (as well as a worthwhile investment for donors) to the way you recruit volunteers. An organization can sometimes find a way to partner with schools teaching sexual integrity, and build a positive reputation with students who may need them in the future. Or an organization might be called to locate next door to an abortion clinic where a woman will see the pregnancy center in her scariest moments and walk a few more steps for a safer place.
Whatever a pregnancy help organization might be called to do locally, Heartbeat is ready to help. That's why our resources, conferences, and trainings draw from an experienced – and varied – team. And when a Heartbeat team member can't be there every step of the way for a new organization, the resources we've developed can.
In that way, Built by Design, a start-from-scratch guide to starting a pregnancy help organization, seeks to fulfill the key elements of Habakkuk 2:2 (NASB), “Then the LORD answered me and said, 'Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run.'” The vision for Heartbeat is to see more pregnancy help organizations and locations reach more of those in need. We “inscribed” that vision in the form of the various elements and how-to’s in order that those who read it, may run with their own vision of pregnancy help in their community!
This guide doesn’t so much condense the wisdom of all the other Heartbeat resources, as much as it connects them together to serve those with vision for life-affirming work in a God-honoring way. That's why, in addition to making it available alone, Built by Design is the key part to our Pregnancy Help Starter Kit, which includes written resources on everything from volunteer training to fundraising, strong leadership to legal considerations.
The Psalmist (95:1, NASB) describes himself as a “pen in the hand of a ready writer.” Our prayer for this field guide is that it would be found by “ready writers” being used by God to create new opportunities to bring life-affirming ministry to life.
Because one size does not fit all. YOUR community needs YOU, and Heartbeat is here to help.
At the end of Pregnancy Help Institute, we invite our attendees to write a letter to the Board of a pregnancy center who might be trying to decide whether to send staff for training or not. Every year, we are inspired by their reactions to working with other like-minded individuals as they sharpen their skills to continue serving on the front lines of pregnancy help. Here's what a few of our 2017 Pregnancy Help Institute graduates had to say.
Dear Board Member,
If you are looking for one single thing that you can do to grow the ministry that you are a part of, please consider sending your director to Pregnancy Help Institute. I know when the budget is tight it is hard to spend money and allow your director to be out of the office. But it is worth every penny. Equipping your director to do his/her job better is a huge part of Pregnancy Help Institute, but the encouragement they will find there, you cannot put a price tag on.
Sincerely,2017 Pregnancy Help Institute GraduateNew Director Track
If you are considering sending your medical staff for ultrasound training at Pregnancy Help Institute, please do it! It will equip your staff to not only learn/be able to perform basic ultrasound exams, but to give that mother a chance to view LIFE! Not only will they learn the skill of ultrasound, but they will also be encouraged spiritually to effectively help a mother see her unborn. Your staff will leave blessed when they go in, and blessed when they leave (Deuteronomy 28:6).
Sincerely,2017 Pregnancy Help Institute GraduateUltrasound Training Track
What I have discovered is how important it is to take some time away to refresh and rediscover our purpose and energize our soul for the work we do. Being a part of the Pregnancy Help Institute training in development has helped me not only affirm much of what I have been focused on, but also to discover new ways to take our ministry to the next level. Development involves everyone on the team, and I have taken away so many ideas that I can present to our team to help us be the best we can be.
This week, I have been challenged, affirmed, and inspired to take what we do for God to the next level. I can take my skill set and use it for so much good. I have met amazing people who I will keep in touch with and bounce new ideas off of. It is so important to value the resources we have through Heartbeat International and to allow your team to participate so that they are more equipped to serve women and their families and affect generations to come and most importantly, be able to put on the armor of God to do the work we have been called to do. It’s an investment for God.
Sincerely,2017 Pregnancy Help Institute GraduateDevelopment Track
The investment for the heartbeat International training is not only faith-filled, but full of amazing information that can and will be incorporated into our plans for the home. I firmly believe this is something new members, as we add them to our team, need to attend. Not only has it been an amazing and information-filled week, but it has renewed my fire and excitement for our ministry.
Thank you,2017 Pregnancy Help Institute GraduateLeadership Track
by Ducia Hamm
What would bring 62 diverse individuals from a variety of pregnancy help organizations, hailing from 26 states, Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas together at the offices of Heartbeat International in Columbus, Ohio? Without a doubt–that would be Heartbeat International's Pregnancy Help Institute.
One pregnancy help leader summed up her experience as, “a great boot camp and leadership training that helps ensure our future success.”
Pregnancy Help Institute consists of three separate learning tracks: New Directors, Development and Leadership. This year, attendees were able to take advantage of unique opportunities that included a tour of the offices of both Heartbeat International and our 24/7 pregnancy helpline, Option Line.
Each day of the weeklong event started out with a gathering for prayer, devotion and fellowship centered on God’s Word before everyone headed off to their respective training tracks.
At the New Directors training, 48 new executive directors, each with less than three years’ experience in their position, received in-depth training designed just for them. Using the DIRECT Well Manual as their textbook, these new directors were able to benefit from Heartbeat International leaders Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D. and Jor-El Godsey along with Senior Director of Ministry Services Betty McDowell and several of Heartbeat International's expereienced staff members.
In addition, participants gained firsthand instruction on navigating the HeartbeatServices.org website while learning the benefits that OptionLine offers to life-affirming organizations.
“Being a new director is a complex position and a role that involves many facets,” one director told us. “This training gave a comprehensive overview of many of these facets that would be valuable for [new] directors”.
The Development track, an intimate group of six leaders jumped in with both feet on a path toward building strong funding plans for the future.
“With this size, we have a lot of free-wheeling discussion and the opportunity to address a lot of situations,” Kirk Walden, Heartbeat International’s Advancement Specialist and the track’s instructor, said. “And because we had development directors and executive directors from varying-sized organizations, we touched on a little bit of everything and were able to zero in on a lot of individual needs and challenges.”
The Development track addressed everything from a biblical perspective on fundraising to finding and building eight revenue streams that, while relationships stay strong, never run dry.
“Raising funds is about connecting in a meaningful way with those who care about our work, and then providing ways for these friends to do what they want to do—which is to support our work,” Kirk said. “It’s not complicated, but there is a process to all of this.
“The goal of the track is to not only identify how to be successful in building support, but to make sure each person who attends can say, ‘Hey, we can do this.’ I want everyone to walk away with practical tools and plan that works for them individually. That’s the important thing.”
Woven throughout the Leadership track were concepts developed by Built to Lead, an executive coaching program that has trained CEOs, presidents, and ministry leaders nationwide. Kitty Allen and John Rue from Built to Lead guided the group through “The 12 Essentials of Personal Excellence©”.
One of the attendees, Heartbeat International's own Tony Gruber, was part of the Leadership track.
“The class-time was informative, inspiring, and helpful,” Tony said. “I especially appreciated the homework reading assignments. What struck me the most was the high caliber of leadership in pregnancy help organizations and the opportunity that the Institute offered to meet leaders from around the country.”
Wondering whether you should attend the Pregnancy Help Institute in 2016? Check out this endorsement:
"I am leaving this week feeling encouraged, empowered and confident to continute to do the work the Lord has called me to do."
Sound like something you want to say next year? Bookmark this page and we'll see you then!
by Mary Peterson, Housing Specialist
Sarah Saccone serves as the full-time Program Director for Lamb of God Maternity Home, daily giving witness to her passion for women in crisis pregnancy through the gift of adoption. Utilizing her Bachelor degree in Sociology from California State University of San Marcos, Sarah worked as a counselor of homeless youth in a shelter-home atmosphere for nine years. She has served on a number of mental health non-profit boards, been a long-time volunteer for San Diego Hospice, and spent time teaching children in East Africa. When describing Sarah, Grace noted, "She is able to mentor, inspire, and listen...but also lay down the boundaries and call the moms on their stuff. I wish I could duplicate her for each of our future homes!"
Grace Dulaney is the Founder and CEO of Agnus Dei Foundation. Inspired by her personal experience as a birthmother, Grace established the Foundation to impact the culture of life by being a champion for adoption as a viable and positive solution to an unplanned pregnancy. The foundation opened its first Lamb of God Maternity Home in San Diego two years ago. Because of its supportive and loving environment, 100% of the birthmothers in their program have stayed committed to their adoption plan. The foundation is laying plans to replicate this unique and successful model nationwide. The stories of birthmothers who have lived at Lamb of God Maternity Home are featured in The Sidewalk Chronicles, a beautiful documentary that aired on January 24th. The film juxtaposes the hurt and regrets of women who have aborted with the joy, pride, and peace of women who have chosen adoption [watch the trailer here]. http://www.agnusdeifoundation.org/
Sarah, the 30-year old Program Director of Lamb of God Maternity Home acknowledged, "It's mentally exhausting. My friends will ask, 'How was your day?' and I think, 'I can't even explain to you how my day was.'"
Leaders in maternity housing face the burden of supporting staff, like Sarah, who are daily facing the complicated scenarios of the moms. Plus, they must manage the logistical challenges of keeping an organization going–keeping procedures legal, staff equipped, donors informed, and more! Up against the programmatic and administrative challenges that a maternity-home demands, the role of leadership is particularly important.
The leadership exercised during the start-up stage has unique aspects. When reflecting on her experience of founding a home, Grace Delaney, the founder of Lamb of God Maternity Home, offered this leadership advice, "The most important aspect is to have things lined up before you move forward. There is such a temptation to put the cart before the horse." She continued, "Reign in and be more deliberate. Set realistic goals; have the right people in place; have the right physical location. Because once it begins, things really start happening!"
Once the home is operational, the challenge of finding "right fit" staff is common. Grace noted, "When it comes to getting the right staff, its 10% knowledge, 10% skills and 80% mindset. Mindset includes things like desire to serve, people skills, and flexibility. You need to find those with absolute passion--where it is a vocation!" Continuing on this theme, Sarah quipped, "Every job description should end with 'and it will be ever changing.' There is just something about the work that demands flexibility." After sharing her gratitude for the wonderful staff with which she worked, Angie Hammond, a long-term leader of multiple life-affirming ministries, reflected that recruitment is a work of God, "You have to pray them in."
Reflecting on the different types of authority with a maternity home, Angie described a lesson that she learned, "My office was in the house, so directing things back to the house parents was essential. If a mom wanted to tell me something, I needed to hear it from my house parents. It also went the other way; if a mom needed to hear something, it came from the house parents. That way, I was teaching the moms to honor authority and to follow protocol."
"As leaders, our responsibility is to create safe, positive environment for everyone to learn," noted Angie. "Our staff need the freedom and safe place to share their experiences, concerns and disappointments." As one of the staff working directly with moms, Sarah described her experience, "There are rough days and there are beautiful days... but there are so many little miracles that it makes it joy to be part of."
by Jor-El Godsey, President
Best practices and powerful tools will only carry the effort so far... And maybe not as far as we'd think or want.
Even from the title of his book, "The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business," Patrick Lencioni tells it straight. Our best tips, tools, and techniques won't carry the day beyond the operational health of our organization.
Sounds too "touchy-feely"? Lencioni anticipates this objection, noting, "[M]any leaders struggle to embrace organizational health because they quietly believe they are too sophisticated, too busy, or too analytical to bother with it. In other words, they think it's beneath them." (Emphasis added)
Lencioni, well-known for best-selling leadership and management books such as "Five Dysfunctions of a Team," "Death by Meeting," and "The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive," pulls from each of these and others to reveal how a business or non-profit can learn to function in a healthy way.
Setting aside his customary "fable" format, Lencioni uses real-life examples to illustrate and emphasize the challenge and importance of working toward organizational health.
"Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage." Lencioni says.
If you're new to Lencioni, you might start with his "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" to ease into these weighty concepts. His books are neither long nor difficult to read, but offer powerful insights for any non-profit organization.
by Ellen Foell, Legal Counsel
Twelve tribes. Twelve leaders.
Each of these twelve men had the same mission, the same destination. The destination was the Promised Land. The mission was straight from God through Moses: Scout out the land of Canaan.
We know the story. How many came back? How many had a negative report? Ten. How many came back with a good report? Two. Remember, all twelve were Israelites who had seen the same power of God, heroically leading them out of the land of Egypt and miraculously parting the Red Sea for the entire nation to walk across dry land.
Each of these leaders were adventurers—explorers, daring to go where no Israelite had gone before. But only two came back with a good report.
Now, let's think about those two. Two men, two characters, two temperaments, two callings, two destinies. One destination, one God.
We know plenty about Joshua...the man even has a book named after him. Joshua was the understudy for Moses before eventually replacing him as the leader of God's chosen people. He used to stay at the entrance to the tent of meeting even after Moses had gone to bed.
With Moses kept outside Canaan, it was Joshua who led the people on the last leg of the journey into the Promised Land. He led the march around Jericho. Joshua charged and challenged the people with perhaps the most popular wall hanging in Christian homes today: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
Then there was "The Other Guy." What was his name again? Caleb. What do we know about Caleb? Not a whole lot. Other than as his Hebrew name suggests, he was wholehearted. He followed the Lord wholeheartedly.
Caleb, along with Joshua, had journeyed into the same Promised Land with the other spies, had seen the same things, and came back with a report that, along with Joshua's, differed so much from that of the 10 that his life was spared. Along with Joshua, Israel's second in command, Caleb had been brave and had to swim against the tide.
Now imagine: When Joshua received his accolades from the Israelites, he did not stand up and say (or at least it is not recorded): "I want to thank everyone who made this possible, especially my friend and companion, a man of great and wholehearted faith, Caleb the Kenizzite." (A roar of applause rises in the background)." No, no accolades. No book. No quotable quote hanging on my kitchen wall 3,000 years later.
Caleb was the other guy. But, what a guy.
The boldness of being the 'other guy'
Caleb, as far as we know, was about 80 years old when he walked into the Promised Land. After seven years of fighting the Canaanites, Jebusites, Amalekites and other-ites, Caleb boldly walked up to Joshua and asked for the inheritance, the destiny that was his. Then, he took it. He received all that he asked for. That interaction is recorded in Joshua 14:7-14, which underscores Caleb's wholeheartedness and vigor in serving the Lord.
Hebron has belonged to Caleb ever since (Joshua14:14). Caleb's destiny was secure. He was able to take that same hill country he had seen over 40 years earlier.
He was strong. He was patient. He waited more than 40 years to get his hill country. He persevered. He never lost sight of the vision or the promise. He trusted God. He did not try to accomplish God's will on his own. He was a man of conviction. He was not self-reliant; he knew he needed the Lord's help. He had a specific place he wanted: The hill country.
Caleb was not a namby-pamby guy who would take leftovers. He had a place in mind within the destination of God, and he asked for it. He respected authority. He went to Joshua and reminded him of the promises of God in the midst of Joshua parceling out all the land, and simply asked for what was rightfully his.
Caleb was not a jealous guy—at least there is nothing to indicate he was. He watched Joshua follow Moses into the tent of meeting. He watched Joshua take the place as leader of the Israelites. He watched as Joshua led. What kind of leader was this? A wholehearted leader who never lost his vision for his destiny or God's destination.
Caleb took the promises of God, not as a deserved reward, but as an opportunity to exercise faith and claim new victories. Caleb was in his 80s, yet he asked for the hardest place of all, a place where giants were entrenched and where the fierce Anakim still guarded the cities (v.12). He did not ask for an easy place where he could spend his remaining years in peace and quietness. He still wanted to do something for the Lord, and for those who would come after him.
You will notice, that although Caleb thanked God for his vigor and strength, he did not depend on his own strength. Instead, he confessed his need of God's help and demonstrated a faith firmly grounded in God's promise, not on his own strength, nor that of his fellow Israelites. Though Israel had disappointed him 40-plus years before, Caleb did not complain when he had to continue wandering in the wilderness with his countrymen.
Learning from the 'other guy'
What can we learn from the other guy? Not everyone is a Joshua. Not everyone is in the limelight. Not everyone has a biography that thousands read. God will not, and does not, reprimand, chastise us, or judge us for that. Sometimes, the best leaders are those faithful folks who lead behind the scenes, daily exercising faith, declaring their testimony, and pressing on to claim what God has for them.
Sometimes we don't understand why disappointments come our way, often through no fault of our own. But we must remember that new opportunities can still come our way if we hold steady in faith and keep on walking with the Lord. Caleb watched his fellow leader and servant, Joshua, succeed, lead, fight, and win battles, while he himself did not grow weary of doing good.
He did not grow jealous or competitive. He did not grow disrespectful, he respected the authority and anointing of God in Joshua.
We must all, like Caleb "wholly follow the lord." Let us not seek honor or reputation from our fellow man. It is enough to do with all our hearts whatever God gives us to do, and give all the glory to Jesus. Then we will some day hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
What about you? Are you a Joshua? Leading seven times around the city, charging into Jericho, dispensing justice, and lands, slaying giants? Or are you a Caleb, the other guy? The other one? Faithfully, mightily, justly, humbly, patiently and wholeheartedly following God, into your destiny?
Whether a "Caleb" or a "Joshua," let us be found wholeheartedly loving and serving Jesus.
by Chet Scott, Built To Lead
The US Air Force trains it team to memorize two numbers, for the sole purpose of their survival during a time of trauma. We don't recall so well when we're overwhelmed, so our military leaders want these numbers embedded in their soldiers brains.
Our tendency, remember, is to do nothing, to turn into statues when we become hyper-stressed. This is rarely the right call. If the building is on fire, run. If the plane has crashed and you are still alive – move. If the boat is capsizing in the open seas, get going. Head for the upper deck and plan your escape. Don't sit still. However, if you're lost deep in the woods, according to Ken Hill a renowned expert in this field, don't get busy moving. Don't run. Don't move. This is where being a statue actually pays off. STOP. You are most likely to be found, in this case, if you stay where you are. Moving on...
Our fear tendency takes a similar look and feel every day around the hallways of corporate America. The moment things get a little hazy, crazy, and out of control we start to freak. When we can't see where we're going the freak can reach a dizzying peak. Our brain gets overwhelmed and without a sense of direction, we go statue again. We ruminate, and we tend toward sitting in our "cubes" and either doing nothing, or doing nothing new.
We STOP. We wait for the leader to tell us the way forward. They rarely do. So, mindlessly we continue to do what we've always done even when deep inside we know it's not working. And, oftentimes we go further. We allow our brain to forecast the future and it tends to catastrophize when given an overwhelming problem and little to no direction home. Yikes. Back to our Air Force pair of num's to recall.
Here are the numbers.
The USAF reminds it's workers of these two numbers over and over again. Here's what they mean.
98.6, as you already know, is our optimum core body temperature. When it gets below 88 you can't think clearly and when it drops below 82, you're toast. They teach their team to do what's necessary to remember techniques to keep warm. Here's one. Consume sugar even if it's cold. Sugar is the best ignitor of heat. Choose sugar over coffee, tea, or alcohol. Is that sweet or what?
3 is a little more complicated. They refer to this as the Rule of 3.
You cannot survive:
Here's the BTL AND...
To live out your OPUS while traveling your builder's journey, please remember this:
Your CORE temperature needs to feel like fire. As you pay attention to what gives you energy along this journey we call life, you can significantly improve your chances of writing your masterpiece. Step one is realizing what gives you energy the moment you are doing it. We refer to these as discovering your LOVE's. We ask our clients to write this in the form of their love to's. Very cool. Great lives are always lived by someone that discovers their passions and falls in LOVE in work and life. This is step one...
3 numbers we remind our family, friends, and clients are as follows:
12 8 4 powered by 2 is our framework for building CORE centered confidence, Communities with chemistry, and Continuity with contentment. These fortunate few live lives that represent their masterpiece. Their teams are inspired communities of people that are building deep trust and tasting what it's like to be in flow. They build the next generation of leaders before they need them and understand why this is best. These, home grown leaders, carry the vision forward and make it clearer during their time. The team outlasts it's founder and continues on with uncommon alignment, engagement, and energy. The Leader looks back at this legacy with contentment. Very cool.
And, you're BTL CORE on fire. We'll call this you're Air Force three. Remember these and you'll be flying.
Like this article? You'll love Heartbeat International's Insitutes for Center Effectiveness, which features on-site training from the Built To Lead team in the Leadership Track. Registration is open today for Insitutes, which takes place Sept. 29-Oct. 3 in Columbus, Ohio. Click here to learn more.
From Take Heart | Volume 2, Issue 11
As the season of Advent unfolds and the focus on the birth of our Savior sharpens, the reality of this Scripture, like a diamond held up to the light, reveals multiple facets.
Behold. Be aware. Observe. Consider. This is the first step for us. We must open our eyes to see what is already at hand. The busyness of our schedule, the volume o f our workload, the needs of the ministry all can conspire to crowd our vision and actually shrink our awareness of anything but the urgent. It may take a moment to step away from the inbox, set aside the volunteer schedule, wait to review the financials, and simply focus on what the Holy Spirit is doing.
The Kingdom of God is all that He is and all that He controls. Think about that for a moment. Where is He not King? To what places does His reign not extend? Perhaps there are regions of our hearts and issues that have yet to be yielded to His Lordship, but He is certainly present even there, just as He is present in our ministry and among His people.
Indeed, the Kingdom “is in your midst,” right where you are. Truly, the Kingdom of God is in the midst of your staff meeting and each shift of volunteers. The King is with you during your event planning and while you stare at the blank page that awaits your monthly appeal letter. The Holy Spirit is present when you see the red numbers on the financials. He knows your pain and your tears.
The kingdom of God is even there with you in a board meeting (whether or not every board member has read the reports in advance!). He often speaks through this group that is assembled for the care and concern of the work that He has inspired. Whether you’re the executive director, board chair, treasurer, counselor, or administrative assistant, He, and His kingdom, is in your midst.
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