Ecclesiastes 7:21 states in part, “Do not take to heart all the things people say…”
Ignoring what others say about something or someone you care about has always been easier said than done, but never more so than in these past few months.
Divisions from cultural movements have swept the news cycle, filled our social media streams, and possibly even made their way to family dinners and gatherings with friends.
We live in a time when people are “canceled” regularly, and everyone is an expert. (Please read my tongue in cheek tone.)
However, the God of the universe is not surprised, nor is He worried. He foresaw this and all moments before they occurred, and He knows how we will walk out of it by walking through it with Him by our sides.
Should you or your organization be approached or accused with loaded claims, I want to give you a roadmap of sorts to walk through with your board.
It may seem simple, but easy to do is easy not to do.
Go to God first.
In all situations.
Go to your [sounding] board.
Bring up any communication with those committed to serving your vision diligently, honestly, selflessly, and with integrity.
Your offense is quickly diffused when surrounded by others who take the hit with you as they stand by you to consider what’s being said or implied.
Respond rather than react.
Wait until you have covered the concern in prayer and have received the guidance of your board.
Before you respond, remember that when you call, email, text, or knock on the door of a donor or non-donor, they can freely choose whether or not they want to take the call, read the email, respond, or open the door.
They can also freely choose when they are ready to respond.
If you are not yet prepared to answer – don’t.
We live in a microwave culture that strives to delete crockpot prayer and consideration.
When, and only when, you’re ready to respond in a transparent, respectful, and appropriate manner – do.
Leave judgment to the Judge.
Cancel culture has given us specific contemporary phrases that bring with it a specific set of actions and expectations that only you and your board can consider in light of your vision, mission, and values. Stances on race, politics, whether or not to vaccinate, and gender are merely the tip of the iceberg.
The challenge is to remain objective. State facts in a way your board is comfortable with if or when you choose to respond.
No one knows the inner motives of your board, staff, volunteers, or donors. Do not interact with statements that attempt to persuade you otherwise.
Keep in mind that no response, however, well-worded is sufficient for a fool. If your accuser is indeed a fool (only God knows), then it doesn’t matter what you say. As leaders, we respond not with the motive to change someone’s mind but instead respond graciously to communication from individual people as an act of love, respect, and professionalism.
We invite you to share any encounters and how these tips guide your response. We are for you, and so is our God. Keep moving forward!
For more encouragement from me, let’s connect via text!