Have you ever been asked the question "What does it really mean to be pro-life?" How did you respond?
Join Sarah Bowen, author of Courageously Pro-Life and Director of Alpha Omega center for a 12-week course, starting September 28, that will walk staff and volunteers through what it means to be pro-life. This training will not only cover the sanctity of human life from multiple perspectives using history and scripture, but will equip staff and volunteers with a practical knowledge of how this information applies to their work in a pregnancy help organization. You may learn things about the history of euthanasia, eugenics, and abortion that you never knew before.
Participants of the course will be asked to complete a weekly reading assignment from Courageously Pro-Life, complete an online activity, and tune in for a weekly call Thursday's at noon* (EST) with Sarah to discuss the material.
What other's are saying:
"There was so much research involved with writing this course, that it surprised me with a perspective at times that I had not heard before, and there are facts and history that I was not familiar with. I learned from the course and recommend it to other pregnancy centers - especially for newer staff."
"I absolutely loved gaining new info on the history of abortion/eugenics/euthanasia, and I think this is important for everyone regardless of how long they have been in pro-life work."
"I feel I have a better idea how to discuss Pro-Life issues with others and churches...Through this training I believe I am more knowledgeable to be able to speak to more people, I am so glad I took this class."
Next Class Begins September 28!
*Pariticpation in the live call in discussion is not required each week but strongly encouraged.
by Andrea TruddenDirector of Communications & Marketing, Heartbeat International
There is no I in team, but there is me.
This is a silly take on a saying that we have all heard since little league. However, it is an important part of team leadership training. Hear me out.
When you invest in yourself to become a better leader, you need to take that “me” approach because you’re diving into the core of who you are and how you lead. You discover new ways to become a better leader.
And when you become a better leader, everybody around you benefits.
If you have attended the Leadership Track of our Pregnancy Help Institute, you know the importance of investing in yourself to directly impact the lives of those you interact with daily. Understanding how to truly hear people and how to effectively communicate helps alleviate many potential misunderstandings. It also allows you to intentionally connect with people and pour into their lives.
From our home to the office, our spouses, children, and colleagues all receive the nurturing care that true leadership training provides.
As a team here at Heartbeat, we recently completed the Whole Intentional Leader Development (WiLD) program, an online set of tools that “builds self-awareness, connects the dots between who you are, why you are, and what you do, and scaffolds the transformational conversations necessary to prepare you for the road ahead as a leader and as someone called to make a difference in the lives of others. that is available to both individuals and teams.”
While on my own, this would have impacted my specific leadership style – going through the program together allowed us to share this experience and grow as a team.
We are blessed to have a strong leadership team here at Heartbeat. We are a mixture of introverts and extroverts, men and women, millennials and baby boomers. Utilizing our (in some cases, very different) strengths for Heartbeat, allows us to lead it effectively. A good team utilizes the strength of each individual within it.
I will admit, I enjoy learning. If you look at my bookshelf, there are several books on leadership and parenting. Coincidentally there are a lot of the same lessons within each. However, to be honest, I was hesitant to walk through a leadership program as a team as it would require a certain degree of vulnerability.
Throughout our time together, there were a few weeks when we were asked tough questions. Well, I thought they were tough questions.
Many of my colleagues answered these very easily and seemed to know the exact answers. Questions that I struggled deeply with, they were laughing about and offering answers at will!
These moments were a bit intimidating. They were also moments of growth.
Because of the trust I have with my team, I admitted when I struggled. This opened the door to some amazing conversations that both helped me grow personally, but also enlightened others to the fact that a few of us, in fact, were on a different experience level, and perhaps we needed to focus a bit on certain leadership areas.
Walking through the WiLD program together was a good reminder that depending on our age, experience, and/or personality styles, we are all unique individuals utilizing our individual strengths to achieve a common purpose.
We do not lead at Heartbeat with an iron fist. We work together as an effective team with an open-door policy. Walking through a leadership training together reinforced the importance of transparency.
By trusting one another and walking through this activity alongside one another, we were able to lift each other up, strategize to overcome obstacles, and plan effectively for the future.
This is not a first for Heartbeat, nor is it a last. We believe in investing in ourselves to grow as individuals because we know that when we as leaders of the pregnancy help movement take time to nurture those around us, we inspire! And when we inspire others, we change the world!
Heartbeat has an exclusive offer for U.S. affiliates in good standing. Heartbeat International is partnering with WiLD Leaders to provide this professional training for pregnancy help leaders to advance their leadership skills. Working with WiLD Leaders, Heartbeat-affiliated Executive Directors, Presidents and CEOs can delve deep to grow as individuals and lead intentionally. Learn more.
by Beth Diemert, Ministry Services SpecialistHeartbeat Internaitonal
As The Pregnancy Help Institute 2020 New Director track is quickly approaching, it is only natural to reflect back to my own journey as a new Executive Director and remember the path I walked. All these years later (we won’t mention it being 30!) I am so thankful for the blessing it is to realize, that though “I didn’t know what I didn’t know” the Lord had me and led me every step of the way. If asked now, what would I suggest to that young director me, here’s what I would say.
A Letter to my 20Something New Director Self,
I am writing to you from the future, a place of time and distance that provides a great deal of perspective. I’d like to share some wisdom I’ve learned with you. I hope through the rear view mirror, I can help you see 5 key things that will help you blaze that trail you were meant to forge, and fulfill your destiny!
You are about to embark on the greatest journey on the planet. It will be a wild adventure! Picture this: When the Indiana Jones “rope swing” vine presents itself to provides a way across the wide cavern, in the dense jungle, jump on, hold on, and swing to the other side. Abide! Squeeze as tight as you can and let it take you there. It is the sole purpose for its existence. You can’t get there on your own! Don’t even try. And remember, the fruit you will taste on the other side is sweeter than you can ever imagine!
There can be no doubting. No self-talk that says, “Who Me?” No thinking that any day now, the board is going to call and say, “We’ve made a mistake.” You need to be 100% convinced and committed to “God chose me!” Know and believe that Lord searched the world over and picked you to do this job with purpose.
So much of what you need is already out there. Take advantage of it and don’t waste time reinventing the wheel. Gain knowledge and be a life-long learner. Connect with those who want to be there for you, provide a sounding board, build you up, and encourage you. We need each other! Don’t ever consider this a weakness. It is how you are designed.
Those hopes and dreams inside of you were put there by a loving Father. Pursuing your passion wholeheartedly can have life-changing outcomes for many. And always know that God is only good. Trust his leading, even if it looks in the natural to be crazy! Go for it! If you struggle here, refer to #1.
Do not let fear or worry steal from you. Don’t dim what God has intended for your life by playing it safe. Take the mercy that is new every morning, care for yourself along the way, and delight in every good gift. This is the abundant life and you can live it. Oh, the places you’ll go!
You can do this. God is with you. Believe me. I remember.
Pregnancy help heroes are championing life every day across the European landscape. The venues for such life-affirming efforts vary from telephone/email/hotline/and online to actual office space. The daily, compassionate outreach to women and men dealing with an unexpected pregnancy is affected by but far removed from the political wrangling. Those called to this work are facing great challenges in answering the call to save and defend life. We invite all pregnancy help workers, and especially leaders, to gather together to share information and understanding as well as to gain insight from others.
Who should attend? Anyone involved in life-affirming pregnancy help – direct service to women facing an unexpected pregnancy – is welcome.
Along with plenary sessions that will inspire and inform, there will be breakout forums on vital topics that challenge all pregnancy help efforts – issues on leadership, fundraising, client care and the use of technology to more effectively reach clients and donors. These breakouts will be participatory in nature; as you plan which ones to attend, please come prepared to share your knowledge and experience as well.
English will be the primary language for plenary sessions and breakout facilitation.
What: Pregnancy Help Summit for anyone involved in life-affirming pregnancy help across Europe.
When: 17-19 October 2018
Where: The Crystal Hotel, Belgrade, Serbia
Click here to download a printable European Pregnancy Help Conference flyer.
Heartbeat International, the largest pregnancy help network in the world with affiliates on every populated continent, is pleased to sponsor this Europe-focused conference in recognition of the importance of growing relationships among all pregnancy help leaders. Pregnancy help leaders can find out more about Heartbeat at https://www.heartbeatservices.org.
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
Interesting how opposition to our work tends to backfire, isn’t it?
Planned several years in advance for Chicago, Heartbeat International’s 2017 Annual Conference gathered over 1,200 life-affirming leaders in the heart of a state that is leading the way in chilling the conscience rights of its pro-life citizens.
Yes, states like Illinois, California and Hawaii are trying to squelch life-affirming options to abortion through the legislature. But no, their effort doesn’t seem to be having its desired effect.
The largest-ever pregnancy help conference, this year’s four-day event featured a star-studded cast of keynote speakers highlighted by syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, as well as pro-life leaders Anne Pierson, Jill Stanek and Ryan Bomberger.
Dr. William Lyle—a member of Heartbeat’s medical advisory council—also took the stage to tell his tremendous story, and attendees were treated to inspiring appearances on our main stage by the Benham Brothers and comedienne Anita Renfroe.
Add to this year’s keynotes 90 workshops, plus 15 in-depth-day opportunities and worship led by Matt Hammitt, and you start to get a snapshot of a movement that’s adding more momentum every day.
As one attendee said about this year’s conference, “There were no low-lights. Only highlights.”
Whether or not you came to this year’s event, you can download recordings of each keynote and workshop session (here).
And, mark your calendar for April 10-12, 2018, when Heartbeat International’s Annual Conference comes to Anaheim, Calif.
by Jennifer Minor, Editor/Writer
Somewhere between Pregnancy Help Institute and the Heartbeat International Annual Conference every year, there's a training gap. Individuals continue to take courses online at Heartbeat Academy, but that communal learning experience is missing.
That's why Heartbeat International developed ConCERT.
ConCERT is an advanced distance learning course to equip volunteer consultants with the information, skills, and perspectives that take them to the next level for providing effective consultation to individuals making choices in regard to sexual integrity, pregnancy, and parenting.Deb Neybert, MA, LAS says, "As a trainer, I enjoy getting to know the students, and reading their comments posted on our online forum. Often they have great insights to share with each other, and it enhances the learning experience."
Since The LOVE Approach training is a pre-requisite to ConCERT, students interact with peers that have had similar experiences. According to Neybert, "Students say the most exciting part of ConCERT is the practical application as they have the opportunity to respond to verbatim assignments and the on-line forum communication."
Besides all of these benefits, by the end of ConCERT, students earn 14 CEU's toward the Life Affirming Specialist Designation. That's enough to apply for or renew your LAS!
Tweet this! The next session of ConCERT begins on January 11, 2015, and registration is open now.
The next session of ConCERT begins on January 11, 2015, and registration is open now. Information on pricing, registration, and other important dates can be found here.
Learn more and sign up today!
by Jay Hobbs, Communications and Marketing Director
When leadership is discussed as a topic unto itself, most experts tend to zero in on models, theories, and examples.
How frequently should my team meet? How strictly should the Board abide by Robert's Rules of Order?
Should my title be Director? Executive Director? Grand Pooba?
As you may have guessed, the idea of sitting through an extended meeting to focus on these burning topics wasn't exactly on my Can't-Wait-To-Do List.
My fears were dispelled about 30 seconds into the Leadership track of this year's Heartbeat's Institute for Center Effectiveness.
Instead of wrangling about which leadership strategy has which benefits or holes in it, our facilitator, John Rue of Built to Lead, went straight to the heart when the starting gun fired.
John's point, from start to finish, was that, if we are ever going to lead—or even live—with freedom and conviction, the question of "Who" we are needs to be settled and fanned into flame.
Am I primarily a director? A leader? A pastor? A husband? A dad?
If so, I'm going to face an uphill climb any time any of those identities are threatened. Bad day at work? That's an assault on my primary identity as a director. Bad day at home? That's an assault on my primary identity as a husband and dad.
The biblical shorthand for all of this is idolatry. It's dethroning God and setting up something in His place. When we do that with our work, family, friends, or anything else, we're cutting ourselves off from our true identity: Believer, Son, Friend of God, Sheep. Not only that, but we're putting an astronomical burden on something (or someone) who was never intended to bear the weight of the universe.
That was the starting point for the week, where we focused on finding not "balance," but alignment between who we are and what we do. This is where our core identity aligns with our passion, and where work becomes a joyful outflow.
What's your primary identity? What are you passionate about? Do they line up? Maybe next year's Heartbeat's Institute for Center Effectiveness is a great place to find out.
As spring turned to summer, it was time for the annual Pan-African Conference, hosted by Association for Life of Africa (AFLA). This year's event was held in Livingstone, Zambia—a fitting place for trail-blazing missionaries to meet.
Heartbeat International was on site, standing alongside our brothers and sisters for life in every corner of the globe.
This year's conference, "Breaking New Grounds in the Kingdom of God," included missionaries for life from 12 countries and was keynoted by former Heartbeat International board member, Rev. John Tabor.
The represented countries were Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Ecuador, Brazil, and the U.S.
"It's an exciting time for AFLA as we continue to grow and adapt," AFLA President Barbra Nalavwe Mwanza said to open the five-day conference. "We must remain always adaptable, motivated, responsive, and client-focused."
Topics of focus for the conference included, "Where is the Church and the Theology of Life?", "Abortion in Africa," "Counseling Toolbox," "Healing the Wounds," "The Boardmanship," "How to Start a Centre," Natural Family Planning, Sexual Integrity, and Fundraising. But Africa, as Barbra pointed out to lead off the conference, could not hope to solve these problems without addressing the underlying life-and-death issue of the sanctity of human life.
Heartbeat International Director of Marketing and Communications Debora R. Myles brought her expertise to the conference, presenting a keynote entitled, "The ABCs of Marketing with Emphasis on Websites," and a workshop called "Fundraising Essentials."
In addition to Myles and Rev. Tabor, Lorraine Gariboldi, author and founding member of Heartbeat International affiliate Life Center of Long Island, spoke at the event, drawing from her leadership experience in a three-location setting.
Find out more about Heartbeat's International partners here.
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