“Let it flow – let yourself go
Slow and low – that is the tempo
It’s never old school all brand new
So everybody catch the bugaloo flu
Not like a fever not like a cold
The beats are clear the rhymes are bold
So don’t see a doctor or see a nurse
Just listen to the music first things first
First of all get off the wall
It’s time to party so have a ball…” – Slow and Low – Beastie Boys
It might seem a stretch to apply Beastie Boys lyrics to running the operations of a nonprofit and maybe it is, but there’s something to be said for some of the ideas in this song. Slow and low being our tempo is a challenge that we’ve encountered in progressing through developing The RNV. While it hasn’t proved to be very gratifying in our 24/7 connected, ADHD world, it certainly has its benefits. To successfully go slow and low, two things must happen: 1) Throw out the quick fix idea or throw in the towel and 2) See the value in taking the time to lay down roots and grow slow.
As quick as we’d like to see things happen and make progress and as the name like Right Now! might imply, there’s a whole world out there not on our timetable, so we need to work to be on God’s. It’s important to remember that people involved with The RNV (or your organization) have lives and families and jobs and vacations. It would be very simple to bear down and grind everyone into a sprint mentality and burn out but this is a marathon effort and we haven’t even cracked the first quarter-mile.
Take it slow, let the let the opportunities flow and be ready to take advantage of them as they happen. As big as we may (or may not) grow, we’re not an institutional charity that can undertake monumental projects we’re a new kind of nonprofit; a quick-moving, flexible organization that can plant itself quickly and set the roots to build relationships between teens and youth groups, nonprofits and community organizations.
This is an easy message for people to latch onto and to become evangelists for BUT we don’t want people to catch a fever for it and then spike and burn out, we want to keep it at an ideal 98.6 (at least most of the time). Before we go too far, let’s also get first things first, are we doing this for the right reasons and do we have the right message? This isn’t about us the directors or officers or the members, this is about helping connect teens to God’s love. His message, their lives and our privilege to serve. The message is clear and our dedication to serving it, bold.
Finally, this is serious business. There are times that we will come across teens in utter despair and isolation and we need to make sure we help connect that teen in ways that serve their needs. That said, God’s love is not a dour, imposing chore. If we can’t be happy and have a ball sharing this message, maybe we’re the ones who are disconnected.
How do you stay passionate and connected with your causes? What do you do to take things slow to make sure they can sustainably grow?