Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at www.generousmind.com.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Transitions are a Time to be Generous

The idea of being a Generous Mind is at the core of what God has called Mindy and I to devote our lives. But exactly what we are being generous with has gone through various changes and will continue to change as we obediently follow God's leading and direction.

Today we would like to share three major transitions in our lives. They will seem very distinct but in God's timing they actually are all very connected. These three transitions can fit under the general category of 1) Our Job 2) Our Writing 3) Our Family


A Job Change
For the past four and a half years it has been our great pleasure and joy to serve HCJB Global, a ministry that focuses on media and healthcare outreaches around the world. I have served in the area of marketing and communications and have had the opportunity to help the 78 year old organization re-brand and redefine its message for a new time. In that process we launched the idea of Being the Voice and Hands of Jesus. This means speaking up and reaching out for Jesus in a coordinated way to greater impact those around you.

But as that brand really takes hold and the cause begins to launch, we received an opportunity to serve in a new capacity. After praying we knew it was something God wanted us to do. In the process of building the HCJB Global message, I had struggled with the traditional ways that donors and churches relate to outreach ministries (local and global). I wondered if there was another way to organize the missional cause than to have donors on one side and doers on the other.

We found an answer to this question in the work of a friend of ours - Eric Foley (visit his blog to learn more about him and his ministry http://www.ericfoley.com/) Eric introduced us to a new model for giving called Transformational Giving. This is a transition away from most fundraising today that is more transactional. As we delved into this model, we found its approach refreshing and very Biblical. In it, the donor is seen as someone that God has given a ministry to disciple and grow in Christ in relation to the cause. This model focuses on making the nonprofit a platform for donors to own the cause and participate in it. The donor as well as those a nonprofit is helping become the recipients and the goals of the organization. This model is fundamentally a discipleship and mentoring model where donors are those that we are discipling and who are discipling those who work in the ministry daily.

In this process a small organization that focuses on helping ministries transition to Transformational Giving approached Mindy and I about working with them. The group is called ".W" (Doers of the Word) and it is located here in Colorado Springs, CO. It is a next generation Christian marketing and development agency that equips ministries to transform their fundraising efforts into biblical discipleship practices.

I accepted the role of Partner Manager with .W starting September 1 and Mindy will be writing for .W as a freelancer. Now our calling to be a Generous Mind will focus on helping others to move to an incarnational and transformational approach to fundraising and ministry as a whole.

Our Book is Out!
As of this week, Mindy and I will have in our hands our first co-authored book called Through the River: Understanding your Assumptions about Truth. This has been a five year process and has taken much of our time and thoughts over the last years. This book is a Generous Mind effort. We worked with a well-known professor - Dr. Paul Hiebert - who has now passed away to take one of his books and create an entirely new book for a broader audience.

The book is about our epistemology (in our book we call it our truth lens) which is a part of our worldview. It is the part that defines how we understand truth. It is critical to how we process information and discern in a new millennium crowded with ideas. This book help you understand the three most common truth lenses and then helps you to apply them to your faith, relationships and outreach.

The national launch of the book is on September 1 and we will be sharing more about it on Facebook, our blogs and twitter. We hope that this resource will be a great help to you as you strive to understand truth in a time where nothing seems certain. While many are despairing of the place of truth in our culture, our book has a message of hope and points to a way forward.

Kids in School
We are entering a new phase with our family. For the first time in 9 years we will have all three children in school. This new phase means that Mindy and I will be able to work together at .W as a team. We began our careers working together as a team for One Hope, a Scripture ministry in Florida. God has been faithful to our desire to continue working together by giving us this new opportunity.

Bringing it All Together
As we settle into a new Millennium and start to look around, it is clear that the paradigm for many things is changing. Many of our personal changes have to do with our desire to be a part of that paradigm shift and help lead through the ideas that will populate a new way of thinking. In relation to our job, we believe that Transformational Giving is a major shift in how missional work is done and will define much of the next generation of Kingdom work. In relation to our writing, we believe that in a time where truth seems like a lost treasure, there is a new way to understand truth that will bring back the solid foundation that we have in Christ while allowing us to learn in community.

Both of these things are key to the paradigm shift occurring in global Christianity right now. We are committed to live them, experience them and then be Generous Minds to bring those ideas and thoughts to you. As we say in our book, our desire for each one of our readers is nothing less than life transformation.

Thank you for being a part of our journey and we are looking forward to how God will use the coming months and years.
We pray that as we are generous with what God has put in front of us to do and to communicate, you will in turn be generous with what God gives you. Who knows what journey God will take you on if you allow Him to share His heart through you!

12 comments:

Steve Spinella said...

I'm a friend indirectly, and likewise committed to transforming lives. Whether transformational giving is a new paradigm or new clothing for something whose nobility has been lost, I think it's great that you've found something to invest in for the father's glory and I hope it is a very fulfilling journey!

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Steve,

Thanks for the comment and for our ongoing dialogue through facebook and blogs. Thank you for the well wishes.

Regarding the paradigm shift, I would agree that a transformational outlook is something that Paul and the early church talked about and Jesus lived for us in perfection. The paradigm shift is a transformational perspective in a 21st Century world. There is nothing new under the sun right :) - Blessings!

Ellen Livingood said...

Congratulations, Jon and Mindy. I think multiple transitions in how we think about ministry funding are taking place. I'm excited to see that you are going to be a part of challenging the missional community to think and move in new directions! Many blessings on all of your personal transitions too!

Steve K. said...

Congrats, Jon and Mindy, on these exciting transitions in life and ministry!

Tim Mason said...

Jon, we will greatly miss you at HCJB Global. I especially appreciate the times you visited us at the Technology Center and showed us how to be generous in tangible ways. You have given me a better understanding that there shouldn't be an artificial separation between the donors and the doers. Thank you and may our Lord and Savior guide you.

Arthur Kraai said...

Hi Jon,

I enjoy reading your innovation posts. Your last FB message led me to this post, and I have to say, as someone who is going through support raising/deputation/support discovery/partner development (or whatever else people call it) headed to Japan as a missionary, I'm very curious about the concept of transformational giving. My wife and I do see our role as one of discipling our donors, and that is exciting for us. However, it hasn't seemed to change the overall process a whole lot for us. I would be interested in hearing a more fleshed out discussion about this perspective and the practical implications.

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Tim,

Thank you for your kind words and for all you are doing for HCJB Global. Blessings as you strive to engage your partners in ministry!

Jon

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Arthur,

Thank you for your note and for sharing about your progress with transformational giving. It sounds like you have had good opportunities to engage your partners and to build deeper relationships.

One of the things that is key to transformational giving is strategic and proactive discipleship. I will share more resources in the coming days that you can use to begin tracking your partner's discipleship process.

One great place to start is Eric Foley's blog. He blogs regularly about Transformational Giving at www.ericfoley.com.

Blessings in your ministry and look forward to continue connecting via this blog and Innovation in Mission.

Jon

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Thanks Steve for your well wishes. We appreciate your work so much and are blessed by your friendship.

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Ellen,

Look forward to talking with you more about our transition. Thanks for the well wishes.

Jon

Global Nomad said...

Thanks, Jon and Mindy, for such an encouraging post in the GM blog. Some provocative thinking there and much appreciated.

Could you tell me more about "W" I did not seem to find a website etc. Sounds an excellent development.

Warm regards,

David

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

David,

Thanks for the note. I'm glad the post gave you some new things to think about. That is our goal with our writing on our various blogs.

Regarding .W, it is overly publicized. The best way to start to learn about the strategies that .W helps ministries role out is to visit two websites. Check out:
- www.ericfoley.com
- www.coachyourchampions.com

I would love to hear your input as you check out those resources.

In Him,

Jon