Is your nonprofit or church ready to engage them?
The people in my workshop started shifting in their red chairs and looking mostly at their hands or shoes. I was at a conference speaking to a group of parents, and had just said: “Raise your hand if you think you are one of the most influential people in the world.”
One hand in the back sort of halfway went up in the air. Kind of.
Today is a good day to learn, and own, how your church or nonprofit can engage these people of influence.
Here’s the 3-part truth:
One: American families care the most, serve the most, and give the most to help those in need.
Two: Parents are the biggest influence on our kids’ physical and spiritual wholeness.
Three: Serving those in need is the single most influential action families can take that also strengthens their own kids’ faith.
If you’re now thinking, “Help me believe you so maybe I can put my hand at least halfway in the air,” then alright! Will do!
In studies done across the US, the folks who go beyond talking a good game to actually serving and giving to others are families of faith. (See Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide.)
In Hope Rising’s chapter How Mom Can End Extreme Poverty, Dr. Scott Todd writes, “It may seem unreasonable for Mom…to guide…poverty-fighting strategies…. But not only can Mom do it, she may be the best qualified person for the job.”
When you invite families to serve, who better to serve than children in need? Factors such as malnutrition or lack of clean water can stunt a child’s capacity for life. And did you know that around 70% of decisions for Christ happen before age 18?
Creates Good for All
Studies from Baylor University (Diana R. Garland, Family and Community Ministries 2012, Volume 25) have identified the most powerful characteristic of families growing in their faith: they serve. Service to others and laying a foundation for a lifetime of faith is what any parent who wants to build his or her family’s faith can do.
Though the research is current, the principle is timeless.
When God commanded his people in the wilderness to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5, NIV), the commandment actually included operating instructions about transmitting God’s commands to our children:
“Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 6:7, NIV).
How has your ministry mobilized families on behalf of others in a way that produced good for all? How will your church or nonprofit help families grow great kids by acting on behalf of those in need? If you’re ready to reach the most influential people in the world, start by just raising your hand.
by Dr. Naomi Cramer Overton. Adapted from a post on www.naomicrameroverton.com. To talk with a Slingshot nonprofit associate about taking your organization to the next level with next level people, click here.