Put Down the Carving Knife

Learning organizational culture or community standards is a core element of moving into a new apartment building, accepting a new job, or meeting your significant other’s family. We do it all the time. So it is special when something from this acclamation process stands out.

When we were preparing to move to Slovakia – our first launch into the charitable and vocational global work worlds – there was a lot to be learned. The micro-culture of our organization in addition to the macro-culture of the larger charitable world. We quickly learned that there are a few hot topics: fundraising and funding being one of them. How un-shocking that money is a touchy subject.

It was during this time we, along with a number of fellow global workers, were sharing at a district conference. One by one, each global worker was given a brief window of airtime on the main stage. Minutes at the most. We were new. It showed. Taking to the stage right after us were the most dynamic humans ever – like cartoons that had come alive. We like them. We’ve learned from them. We’re so happy they are part of the mix.

As we walked off stage we were pulled aside to receive sage advice from someone our senior: “don’t let them carve a bigger piece than you”. The implication being that as we all fundraise, for every dollar they get, we don’t. And that’s how we were introduced to the “us or them” mentality of fundraising.

This never permeated into our thought process. We intentionally rejected it. It may seem counter intuitive from a financial point of view, but it is perfectly logical from a team perspective – we always want to be able to celebrate the funding wins of our fellow workers because we are in this together. There is great wealth in the world and there is a God who provides. So we work diligently to fundraise, but we do not begrudge the provision experienced by others.

As we start our fundraising process to move to Thailand in team with Megan and Zach Wylie we chose to put our money where our mouth is. We are doing this in TEAM. A fundraising win for them is a fundraising win for us. We want to be there together and we are working towards the same goals. We are not in competition with them. That is why we promote them when we share places, we champion them to others, we include their fundraising material alongside ours, and actively want people to partner with both of us.

Succumbing to this “who got a bigger slice” mentality is another way of saying God’s provision is limited and that is just not our God. We invite you to celebrate with the Wylies, celebrate with us, and to put down the carving knife – we’re in this together!


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