Over the past decade we have had members come and go from our Board of Directors. Unlike a larger organization with more financial resources, we are a largely volunteer organization that requires a “Working Board.” What this means is that every Board member needs to roll up their sleeves and get involved rather than just attending meetings and giving an advisory opinion. Although potential Board nominees are made aware of this prior to their tenure, all do not serve equally. Some excel while getting others engaged can be like pulling teeth.
Upon close examination of those who serve the best on our Board of Directors, committees and as volunteers, the essential ingredient those individuals have is PASSION. These individuals are driven by an enthusiasm for our mission for a wide variety of reasons. Most commonly, we find that those living with special needs as parents or siblings are quick to apply their concern for this community towards service in our work. People who have a deep sense of compassion for those who suffer also tend to be enthusiastic about working with us. Professionals who love what they do are inclined to also share that zest in volunteer commitment. Those who have an eye and ear turned to the Lord and where He is working tend to jump in with both feet as well.
Whatever the reason, it is extremely difficult to move the group forward when you have members that are lukewarm. Open your eyes and ears to those who are passionate about the special needs community. It may be an Eagle Scout, a local assembly line worker or a therapist. Whoever it is, be certain to continue to kindle that fervor, and you will see amazing things happen. Our latest kindling of that passion has come in beginning Board meetings with anecdotes of those we have successfully helped. Describing how we see deflated, discouraged individuals transformed into those carrying the hope of Jesus is not only gratifying, it feeds that vigor for what we do. Other methods of continuing to edify that passion might include attending conferences together, reading articles or books that affirm or challenge your mission, or even observing what other teams are doing in the same arena. As we as leaders are diligent in caring for that essential ingredient, we find ourselves responsive to the admonition Paul gives in 2 Timothy 1:6 “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” (NLT) Go kindle afresh that spirit in your team today!