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Fall 2016


The theme for Fall 2016 is “Emerging Trends.”

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Culture Change

It's where new strategy starts.

"Culture eats strategy for lunch."

Many versions of this maxim, attributed to heralded business leaders, all point to the same caution for leaders implementing strategy and change. Do not underestimate the power of the existing culture - practices and values that underlie the organization and to which staff members consciously and uncon...

Check Your Foundations

Are our organizations built on Christ?

Most ministries have a mission statement, and some have vision statements and identified organizational values. In today's world, the message that is being sent to the world by Christian organizations is coming through more loudly through our actions, inactions and attitudes than in our print or electronic materials. Good, bad or indifferent, as soon as an organization identifies itself as faith based, the public develops a per...

Best Christian Workplaces

Three insights from the journey

For the last three years, Care Net has been designated a"Best Christian Workplace," by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute. To earn this distinction, Care Net staff members complete an extensive annual survey covering topics such as Christian witness, job satisfaction and teamwork. As I have considered the survey's results and trends over the last few years, I have gleaned insights that may be helpful to other ministries - even if...


"What if" we took a new approach?

For most of us in leadership, resources never seem to keep pace with vision. Whether you're running a church or a nonprofit organization, donations tend to fall short of needs with frustrating regularity.

Taking initiative to tackle this, we started Self Sustaining Enterprises (SSE) in 2002. The original goal was to help fund orphan care in developing countries through business ventures within country. We felt the qui...

The Agile Nonprofit

What innovative organizations do differently

In the 1980s the popularity of the VCR gave birth to renting movies to watch at home. At first, this industry was served by corner mom-and-pop stores. But this patchwork quilt of video rental stores lacked cohesion, consistency and choice. Enter Blockbuster - the video rental behemoth that dominated the market for more than a decade. Low prices, convenient store access and unmatched selection ended the era of the local vi...

Strategic Thinking

The secret to successful organizational change

Is strategic planning dead? Not likely. But traditional strategic planning alone is insufficient in today's rapidly changing, global environment. Instead, strategic thinking is essential to navigate and drive organizational change.

Strategic planning usually ends with a static report in a three-ring binder on a bookshelf. Strategic thinking is continuous, nimble and dynamic.

Ministry Communication Trends

Keeping up with rapid technological innovation

The fact is that Jesus is on the earth today and working throughout the world through ministry organizations like yours. While the previous paragraph may be a bit frivolous - it is not far from what most ministries know to be their daily reality. We live in a world where effectively sharing the gospel isn't simple. Today an increasingly complex series of interrelated communication disciplines is required to maintain a s...

Following the Apostles

Five characteristics that marked their leadership

We live in an increasingly spiritually dark and polarized world. Rapid change is a prevailing constant. Persecution is on the rise globally. Many nations are rapidly closing to overt Christian influence. A week rarely passes without news of terrorist attacks driven by religious extremism, or of governments passing legislation making it more difficult for religious workers to obtain visas and conduct ministry. Believe...

Growing Leaders from Within

Stemming the nonprofit leadership development deficit

Despite the many articles and numerous discussions about the need for organizations to develop their human capital, too many nonprofit CEOs and their boards continue to miss the answer to succession planning sitting right under their noses - the homegrown leader. We discussed this blind spot in a Fall 2015 Stanford Social Innovation Review article titled, "The Nonprofit Leadership Development Deficit." W...

Giving Trends

Insights from National Christian Foundation

When it comes to giving, there are always two sides to the equation: how organizations are engaging givers, and how people are actually giving. As president of National Christian Foundation (NCF), David Wills has the advantage of seeing both from the ground level. By watching these trends, NCF is able to help connect givers with meaningful giving opportunities, and vice versa. Laura Leonard spoke with Wills about what he's...