E2: Effective Elders Blog
Editor’s Note: Each Friday we will publish a new blog post from our partners in ministry, E2: Effective Elders. This is our second installment. We are publishing it here simultaneous to E2’s posting on their site. The leaders of E2 write an article for our print and online magazine every month as well. Those articles are full of wisdom and practical help for elders. Please check them out!
By Larry Carter
I often tell people that Great Lakes Christian College is “a faith-based organization.” We believe that we exist because of God’s faith in us and our faith in God. It’s all about faith.
But, sometimes we get confused on this issue. Things get complicated. Troubles mount. Crises loom. “Success” and “failure” seems to hang in the balance of our very next decision. We ask ourselves: Where does God’s provision and our responsibility meet? Where does his power and our effort intersect? Where does our faith and his faithfulness coincide?
I’ve been around long enough to see God at work in so many different situations. His actions were so powerful they seemed almost independent of anything we did. But, to be honest, other times it seemed like he was leaving us to work out the problem like he was simply a silent partner in the process.
What happens in my world—the world of the Christian nonprofit—is that people can become wary about being a truly faith-based organization.
The tendency is to try avoiding those stressful times when a dependency on God is all we have going for us. What most organizations want is a healthy bottom line and rather robust endowments. Those things aren’t bad of course, but it does seem to move one further from the necessity of looking to God for the answers. It also tends to eliminate the need to step out in faith. We make decisions on the basis of affordability and “being fiscally responsible.” “Our future depends on it!” . . . so the reasoning goes.
But at that point, is it still true to think of oneself as a faith-based organization? According to Hebrews, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”
I am not saying we don’t “count the cost.” We do. It’s more a matter of emphasis. In our organizations, in our lives, what do we emphasize: faith or sight?
Larry Carter serves as president of Great Lakes Christian College, Lansing, Michigan.
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