LESSON 32 OF 40: There Are Two Things You Should Never Joke About—#1 Prayer
“The last one with your thumb up says grace."
THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 32, the authors note that when boards gather, they have the chance to invite God into the boardroom—unifying the board’s members, superceding the board’s wisdom, and multiplying the board’s impact—through prayer.
MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 32, pages 172-175:
Olan Hendrix, founding president of ECFA, once served as an executive search consultant. One of Olan’s ministry clients declined the candidate Olan thought was perfect. The reason? The candidate “made light of prayer.” The experience helped Olan realize the solemnity of the believer communing with God.
Dan and John encourage boards to “Pray: From the beginning to the end of your board meetings—and spontaneously as issues arise—create a praying culture that demonstrates to all that your boardroom is on holy ground.”
The Most Important Asset on Your Balance Sheet. In my work with global givers, I’ve come to know amazing, wise people. None inspire me more than David, who started Australia’s leading Christian foundation.
I asked him, “What’s your favorite part of your foundation’s grant application you have grantees fill out?”
“I ask about their prayer strategy.”
David began his career as an accountant. He says, “The greatest asset on your balance sheet is that the God of the universe, the Creator of everything, is on your side. And He makes His power available to your ministry.”
When We Pray, God’s Working. In Ethiopia, my friend Aychi leads a movement that has seen more than 600,000 people baptized, many coming to Jesus out of Muslim backgrounds. On a budget of less than $1 million a year.
I asked him the key to their outrageous impact. Without hesitation, he said, “Ordinary people praying in extraordinary ways.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, when we aren’t praying, we’re working. But when we pray, God’s working. So we pray. We all fast every Wednesday. Every two months, we all fast for an additional three days. And every six months, we fast for an additional three days beyond that. We pray until the impossible happens.”
When Aychi’s ministry wants to reach a new area—you guessed it—they start by taking a group of intercessors there to pray.
We know that ministry fruit only comes when we abide in Jesus (John 15:5), and that abiding happens through prayer. What might God decide to do in our ministries if we, as boards, would model the kind of prayer that we want to see in our ministries?
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY CAMERON DOOLITTLE:
CAMERON DOOLITTLE serves as Senior Director at Maclellan Giving Partners and, through Candle LLC, helps givers become more joyful and ministries become more vibrant. Cameron lives in Waco, Texas, where Carolyn and he raise their four children and serve the college students at Antioch Community Church. Cameron holds degrees from Stanford University and UC-Berkeley (JD/MBA).
His career has spanned writing speeches on Capitol Hill, consulting for hundreds of companies through Corporate Executive Board (since acquired by Gartner Group), and launching Jill's House, a ministry for children with special needs. He is the author of Joy Giving: Practical Wisdom from the First Christians and the Global Church.
TO DO TODAY:
• Ask your CEO what your ministry’s prayer strategy is.
• Ask your CEO for three specific things they’re asking God to do.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 32, “There Are Two Things You Should Never Joke About—#1 Prayer.”
NEXT WEDNESDAY: On Aug. 19, 2020, watch for the commentary by Jos Snoep on Lesson 33, “There Are Two Things You Should Never Joke About—#2: Fundraising. Flippancy about fundraising is never a good substitute for sincerity.”