Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Commitment to Mission

Source: "What Makes an Exceptional Board Member." Center News: A Publication of the Nonprofit Center of Wichita Falls. Vol 14, No 6. Spring 2008.
Keywords: board, session, elder, leader

The majority of chief executives say commitment to mission is one of the top criteria they use when selecting board members. In BoardSource's Nonprofit Governance Index 2007, they listed commitment to mission among their top three criteria 62% of the time--more than any other factor...The Index surveyed, 1,126 chief executives and 1,026 board members.

The results were somewhat similar when board members were asked for their top three considerations in their decision to join a board. Their top pick was "fit of the organization's mission with personal interests/beliefs" at 80 percent.

But commitment to the mission by itself is not enough to make a board member truly valuable to an organization:

Board members must be so passionate in the mission that they are comfortable taking part in fundraising, and look foward to acting as an ambassador that promotes the organization to friends, colleagues, and other contacts.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Best We Have to Offer

SOURCE: "The Need for Creeds", Speaking of Faith
KEYWORDS: faith, creed, profess,

In an interview dating back to 2003, Jaroslav Pelikan told this story about his friend Stephen Jay Gould.

My late friend Stephen Jay Gould would insist with dogmatic fervor that he wasn’t a believer. In addition to being a distinguished paleontologist and a terrific communicator, Steve Gould was a member of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. He sang all this ancient music. In an interview several years ago, that we were both involved in, he was asked about communication with other planets and other worlds. How should we try to reach people who do not know our language or anything else? And he said, we should play the Bach B-Minor Mass, and we should say in as many languages as we can, “This is the best that we have ever done. And we would like you to hear it. And we would like to hear the best that you have ever done.” He would want broadcast systems blaring across our solar system and beyond it with the B-Minor Mass including “Credo in Deo Patre” (I believe in God the Father).

The Maasai Creed

SOURCE: "The Need for Creeds", Speaking of Faith

KEYWORDS: faith, belief, mission, context, global

In an interview, Jaroslav Pelikan mentions the Maasi Creed as an example of how the Christian faith is contextualized. He speaks of the Africanization of Christianity rather than the Christianization of Africa.


The Maasai Creed is a creed composed in about 1960 by Western Christian missionaries for the Maasai, an indigenous African tribe of semi-nomadic people located primarily in Kenya and northern Tanzania. The creed attempts to express the essentials of the Christian faith within the Maasai culture.
We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created man and wanted man to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the earth. We have known this High God in the darkness, and now we know him in the light. God promised in the book of his word, the Bible, that he would save the world and all nations and tribes.

We believe that God made good his promise by sending his son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe, born poor in a little village, who left his home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing that the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He was buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, he rose from that grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord.

We believe that all our sins are forgiven through him. All who have faith in him must be sorry for their sins, be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love, and share the bread together in love, to announce the good news to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe. Amen.