Monday, December 8, 2008

Pondering my Decision

I just completed my second month here at the Center for Nonprofit Management. It's been a fantastic journey of self-discovery and, in some surprising ways, renewal. My eyes have been opened to an entirely different perspective on the work that I've been doing for the past eight years.

I won't lie: it's been a great struggle at times. I miss my friends at CDM. I miss going to work every day above the busiest food pantry in North Texas. Strangely, I miss wondering whether I'll be able to make payroll every two weeks.

OK, well, maybe I don't miss everything...

The Center has been incredible. I've had the opportunity to meet some of the most dynamic organizations in our community, and have been able to share in some powerful conversations with people who are dedicated to changing the world. I've especially enjoyed the opportunities that I've had to sit across the table from full-time philanthropists and say,

"I am not here to ask you for a gift. I want you to see me and the Center as a partner in your effort to change the world. You give money to organizations so that they will be better and stronger. We do the same thing, only we do it through training and consulting. We want you to see us not as a grant recipient, but a mission partner."

Mission partner.

I've been thinking a lot about what that means.

I've especially been thinking about what it means for me on a personal level.

What is my mission? Why did I decide to make this move over to the Center? What is it that I am trying to do over here?

I put some thoughts together over on my blog:

I have no final answer. But this line from Jim Wallis is about as close as I've come to understanding why I am here:

"Where your gifts coincide with the crushing needs of the world, there lies your vocation."

Shoulder against the wheel,