I heard it on a daily basis. We have to do more. We need to get the word out. There are so many needs. We need to meet them. We need a bigger marketing plan. We need to serve more clients this year, increase our services, increase the budget, and do more!
When I came to the ministry I served at they were doing little to get the word out and increase the number of people they served. They were still in their grass roots mode and were happy to open any donation check that came in the mail, and serve any client that walked in the door. Their make the world a better place mentality was working. People were miraculously funding them, and clients were miraculously walking through the door.
When I showed up it was time to change the model. We needed to look and act like a professional nonprofit. There was a legitimate need to develop a marketing plan, increase donors, and the number of clients we served. The organization was ready to grow, and we could envision a plethora of services we wanted to offer. We saw the needs of our clients and wanted to meet them.
What if We Equipped Others?
I think Jesus model of ministry plainly demonstrates that He was about equipping a small group of people to go out and equip others for the ministry. When this is replicated you get a lot of people who can serve people. So what would this look like in our nonprofit?
- Give instead of take. One of our donors groups was the church. I met with pastors and asked them to be a part of fundraising events, to donate to our organization and help us get the word out. What if we came to the church and asked if we could help equip their people to meet the needs of the people we serve? We could give before we take.
- Reveals our heart. If our heart is to truly meet the needs of people then we shouldn’t care who does that. Right? If I truly want more people to be helped then it makes sense that I would equip others to help. This means equipping our volunteers, but it also means equipping people outside of the nonprofit to serve. We will serve more people if we equip others to serve them.
- Is a step of faith. When someone first talked to me about spending more time equipping others to serve, outside of our nonprofit, I had fear. I thought well what will happen to us? Will we lose donations? Will it be harder to write a grant? Will we work ourselves out of a job? These are all good questions, and some legitimate concerns, but we can’t do it all. Donors and grant making organizations will like it that we are increasing our impact. God used this model to build a worldwide church so it is a proven method. There will always be people to serve. You are serving people by equipping them to help others.
I remember speaking to a church and telling them that one of the greatest impacts they can have is if they reach out to the people we were trying to help. We sought to help single parent mothers who had little resources, income and support. I told them,
“You have these people in your life. You see these people in the store, in your church, and in your community. You have the opportunity to make a difference by simply reaching out to these people with kindness, a listening ear, and by directing them to places where they can find the resources they need.”
Following Jesus model for ministry is simple, won’t require a lot of resources, and will increase the number of people you serve and impact. We don’t always need a large grant or donation to make an impact. It can be as simple as sitting down with a small group of people, teaching them how to serve your client base, and providing them the support they need to do that.
Now go, let’s make a difference.