Yesterday the BCFS Leadership Team met to hammer out our plans for growth and expansion of BCFS on a global scale. We zoomed in on plans for national expansion as well as a view to where we are headed internationally. Yesterday afternoon we hit a tipping point and seemed to really gel our efforts into a pretty sharp focus.
I invited Dr. Ken Hall, our President and CEO, to come in and address the group and provide his observations and feedback. We had been gathering data and producing a well defined list of high need areas and came up with a two tier approach covering 12 states. This was an effort done in isolation of other efforts in Buckner International. I think this was the best way to do it. But now it was time to for the right hand to see what the left hand was doing. In the spirit of a zero-tolerance for silos, we also invited Scott Collins, Vice President for External Affairs, to speak to us about current and future growth of our Shoes for Orphan Souls Program and our Radio and Marketing expansion. We also invited David Slover, Executive Vice President of Buckner Foundation, to give us some insight in the area of stewardship.
Several key issues became clear:
First, we have an ongoing and well developed network of relationships operational throughout the country already. We share affinity with churches and friends in a wide variety of states at this time. This is the product of work that has been done in the past. We have alumni, donors, friends, pastors, ministries, volunteers, interns, radio networks, and other allies in a wide variety of locations across the nation. It is wise to move from our points of affinity and strength.
Second, we have market presence through Radio and Shoes for Orphan Souls that is widespread and quickly growing. These relationships span the Baptist family as well as Christians of other denominations.
Third, we identified our work in stages. We are in varying levels of development that can be identified in stages. We have high affinity states and high need states. When we compared these states we found several points of connection. I was amazed to “see” it come together.
Fourth, the same patterns and the same principles apply to the global context. We charted our growth and expansion by countries and regions of the world. We saw relationships, affinity, resources, high need areas, and new opportunities.
Finally, we reflected on biblical principles. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he said,
“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.” (2 Timothy 2:3-7 NIV).
What you see here is three word pictures that Paul is using to help Timothy learn how to develop disciples. He points to the military person, the athlete, and the farmer. Thom Wolf, futurist and missiologists, calls this God’s Triple A: Army, Athletics, and Agri-Business. The Farmer knows that he does cultivating, sowing, and reaping. I love the part of the verse that says “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.” We have done some serious reflecting for about 6 months. The Lord has visited us and has given us Kingdom insight. Karen Waddell has led us with wisdom, insight, skills, and with a special anointing on her life.
Our future growth will involve active cultivating of new friends in other states and countries, intentional sowing of resources and manpower where we have cultivated friends and collaborators, and aggressive reaping to bring the return of our Kingdom investments. We work to hear the Master say “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
We will meet in two more weeks to finalize our draft for the Buckner Foundation and our Executive Management Team, and ultimately for our Board of Trustees. This is getting very exciting. In the meantime, we have more data to collect, more assignments to complete, editing to do, and final drafting of our growth plan for the next 18 months. I am so excited about this it is hard to think about anything else.
Thanks to Dr. Hall, Scott Collins, and David Slover for your timely and wise words. You were instruments in God’s economy. You said what we needed at just the right time. We are on our way. The best is around the corner. Stay tuned.