I recently had an enlightening conversation with two smart, ambitious high school graduates. They were ready to take on the world. Both had a positive attitude towards planning and fulfilling future goals. One of the things we discussed was the transition from high school to college. When I asked the about their pre-college summer plans, the graduates’ response was they were going to have a “chill summer”.
As we travel the country doing feasibility studies, one thing we encounter almost every time, is a donor who cannot be interviewed because they are upset with the organization for not appropriately recognizing their contribution during the last capital campaign.
I’m not great at resolutions. I have great intentions, just lousy follow through. After all my years I have learned that the higher I set my sights, the less opportunity I have to succeed. So I keep expectations low and generally feel better about how things turn out. I may not be a better or healthier person, but I won’t have failed so often in my goals.
Conversations around giving can feel tricky for anyone, but I find that the people who struggle with it most are church leaders. Many pastors and lay staff are reluctant to talk about money at all. Those that do tend to focus on immediate operational needs of the church or mission-based outreach.
Recently I had lunch with a church pastor. His church has an endowment fund from the sale of property, but it hasn’t grown much since then. Like many congregations, his church could benefit from the income a stronger endowment could provide.
Recently, I had a chance to sit down with my former pastor and dear friend, Lee Heyward, as part of our on-going What Matters podcast conversations.