Category Archives: resources

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of in the slow work of god
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We would like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet, it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability –
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually – let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time,
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming in you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.


Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ:
This is from the wonderful little prayer book titled Hearts on Fire: Praying with the Jesuits. It’s a great book – highly recommended.


iVM Summer 2015 Announcement

The Institute for Vital Ministry – Companions for your journey.

Summer 2015

Dear Friend in Faith,

I am writing to ask you to become an early adopter and supporter as I launch my new nonprofit – The Institute for Vital Ministry. Our primary goal is to support and strengthen the work of leaders in congregations and community nonprofits.

Leadership is difficult – particularly in the ministry and nonprofit sectors. Whether staff, volunteer or board member, the turnover and burnout rates are remarkably high. We can change that by giving these leaders the support they need for sustainable vitality in their work.


The Institute for Vital Ministry is a platform for transformation.

We are gathering a community of collaborative partners and building a platform of resources to provide leadership and life coaching, individually and in groups, through The Institute for Vital Ministry. Specifically, we provide:

  • Individual, Peer to Peer, and Group Coaching that is self-replicating and self-sustaining – leaders learn to support one another collaboratively.
  • Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Care for those who are under the heaviest burdens or seeking additional clarity.
  • Resources for leaders, including shared stories of struggle, change and transformation, so people don’t feel alone or helpless.

The Institute for Vital Ministry offers all of this and more, to any leader, any person of peace, who promotes individual and community health, well-being and flourishing.

Every $50 raised provides a coaching session or a day of conference, workshop or retreat for a nonprofit leader.

How can you help?

  • I invite you to join me in this work by doing the following:
  • Pray for this ministry and the leaders we seek to serve.
  • Spread the word to others who would be interested in supporting our efforts.
  • Contribute financially with a one time or recurring gift.
  • Contribute online: OR send a check to: Institute for Vital Ministry, c/o Missional Wisdom Fndn, 185 S. Whites Chapel Blvd., Southlake, TX 76092.

Thank you for joining with us in supporting the ministry and mission of Christ in the world. We also want to join with you to support your ministry and mission. Please share your story with us so that together we might discover new ways to serve and thus spread the good news.
Yours in Christ –
Rev. Dr. Ken G. Crawford

Generational Giving

2164 logoRecently I attended a workshop at Communities Foundation of Texas hosting Sharna Goldseker from 21/64. The conversation was titled “Generations of Generosity: How Traditionalists, Boomers, GenXers and Millennials Give.”

IMG_4436The event revolved around a group process at our tables where we had a drawing of a person from one of the four generational groups –

  • Traditionalists born 1925-1945
  • Boomers born 1946-1964
  • Gen x born 1965-1980
  • Millennials born 1981-2000

These categories are based on the work of Neil Howe and William Strauss – Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584-2069.

Our task in the group was to identify the formative generational life experiences (write those around the figure)  and the internal thoughts and attitudes and feelings that might result from these experiences. For instance, Traditionalists lived through the depression and rationing of WWII, so frugality is a common trait among them. Boomers came to adulthood during the civil rights era and Viet Nam conflict – they are often motivated by causes. Generation X saw Iran Contra, Church sex scandals so they tend to be cynical and distrusting of institutions. Generation Y / Millennials are the technology generation, have never known a time without computers and the internet, and were raised by boomers, so they are impatient, and want to be involved directly in decision making and impact.

These are broad brush categories and descriptions, but they hold true for a large portion of the population. When there is a seeming communication gap or disconnect, these may help offer some explanation. When an institution – Foundation, NonProfit, or Religious Organization – is wanting to connect with new generations of contributors, board members and engaged community partners, understanding the generational trait can provide needed insight.

If Millennials do not see how they can participate and can’t measure the impact, they will not participate, no matter how “wonderful the organization or cause.” Boomers are still motivated by cause – help them see how the organization connects to and furthers causes about which they care and with which they can engage. Gen X cohort tend to be cynical, presenting a “prove it to me” posture and attitude. Underneath and behind that wall is a deep desire to do good and make the world a better place. They were latchkey kids, so they are trained to figure things out and do things on their own, not waiting around for permission from authorities. This makes them great innovators and hard workers.

One of the challenges not discussed was how to engage one group without alienating others. Younger generations tend to be drawn toward more edgy marketing and story telling, and are often more progressive about social issues.While we should not prejudge how people will respond, we also may want to consider how traditionalists will respond to a marketing campaign designed to connect with Millennials. Will they be offended? Will they even understand it? “Communication is not what you say, but what people hear.”* So it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to understand HOW people hear, if we want to engage them in the conversation.

One way to approach this is simply to ask, “When I say XYZ (give, donate, volunteer, etc) what do you hear? What runs through your mind? What are your questions? What is most important to you?”

NextGenDonors LogoGoldseker is the co-author of #NextGenDonors. I was very interested that there was no social media connection information provided until the end of the presentation. I was attempting to post to Twitter and Facebook, but could not easily identify the hashtags or handles to use. We finally did get #NextGenDonors on Facebook and Twitter, and I found @2164Buzz on Twitter. I’m squarely in Gen X (born 1970) and I use social media to share ideas with colleagues and engage the larger community in conversation about topics that I find important. Not being able to do this easily, and more specifically not being encouraged and enabled to do this, at a session about Next Gen Donors, was confusing to me. Perhaps CF Texas only uses twitter for specific campaigns like North Texas Giving Day. I wonder if my friends at SparkFarm have any thoughts about this?

What does your organization do to connect with each generation? Do you intentionally focus on only one or two demographic groups, or do you try to connect with all four? What resources do you find most helpful?

* Michael Moynahan SJ. “Incarnation.” Hearts on Fire. Michael Harter SJ. ed