Last week in Colorado at a private ranch owned by friends a small group of people surrounded Bill to help him discern how, through his private foundation, he can help pastors with leadership development.
After about two hours of conversation during which this well informed group mapped who is doing what in this space, one of the people asked Bill, “Why do you care about pastors? Why is this so important to you?” …hoping to get a meaningful treatise on the role of pastors and the importance of leadership development. Bill’s answer, “You know, I don’t really know.”
I was fortunate to be in the room for this short conversation, and here’s the way I saw it:
– Bill and I have been close friends for 27 years and I have managed his foundation for 18 of those years. I know intimately how thousands of pastors have been helped, their churches strengthened and I have seen first hand their congregation’s flourish as a result.
– In the world of “strategic philanthropy” one would say Bill’s foundation has a “theory of change,” that states… when pastors grow their leadership capacity, churches thrive and the whole land prospers. So, help the pastors if you want the land to flourish. Sounds important doesn’t it?
But alas, like me you’ve been hypnotized by complexity just like so many generous people.
I was able to call out this moment for the group and underscore that Bill’s answer, “I don’t really know” is a way of saying that it is his heart’s desire to help in this way. He has reflected on it, studied it, tested different approaches and now he knows that this is what he is supposed to do….acts of generosity, very large or modest, driven by heart’s desire can be very strategic.
How about you? Are you hypnotized by complexity or are your acts of generosity driven by your heart’s desire?