Nonprofits and 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 our actions, our inactions and our attitudes much louder 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 perception of the organization. That perception is based on the individual’s belief system, personal values and past experiences. And while we may not be able to control perceptions, we need to ask ourselves if we are delivering the message that we want to share with the rest of the world. Are we representing Christ well?
Far too many organizations operate in a scarcity mindset. When we operate out of a scarcity mindset, we tell the rest of the world that we are afraid that God will not provide…that there is nothing different about us, we are just like the rest of the nonprofits in the world that are worrying about where the resources to operate are going to come from.
A scarcity mindset often carries forward into the way we make decisions; choosing to stretch staff too thin or using antiquated systems because we are fearful to spend money. Or, even worse, failing to make investments in the organization because we are fearful that by investing in the organization we won’t have enough.
When we have a scarcity mindset, we are acting as though the resources the God has blessed us with are ours. But, remember, we are simply stewards, every resource we have actually belongs to God.
One of the best ways that I have seen organizations move out of a scarcity mindset is to give back. For nonprofits and ministries, giving back often comes in the form of service. Could your organization plan a day of service where its employees serve at another local ministry? Getting out of our environment and serving elsewhere, we become aware of what we have and our mindset begins to change. Christian organizations have a responsibility to serve and represent Christ well. “Whatever you do… do it as unto the Lord,” Colossians 3:23 KJV. For organizations identifying themselves as faith-based, it is imperative that the organization serves well and loves well. This message of service and love starts with the board of directors and flows throughout the entire organization, its staff and volunteers. It continues with our attitudes and mindsets—do we really believe God is who he said he is and that he can supply all our needs? There should be no doubt to the outsider peeking into the organization.