, The Right Now! Vision and Delivering Happiness – C.V. 6 – Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication

“To me, it was really more a philosophy about always being open to meeting people no matter how they looked or what their backgrounds were. Every interaction with anyone anywhere was an opportunity to gain additional perspective. We are all human at the core, and it can be easy to lose sight of that in a world ruled by business, politics, and social status.” – Pg. 80-81 Delivering Happiness (Delivering Happiness Movement and the book)

For an organization that exists specifically for the purpose of teen outreach  and to speak God’s truth to their pain and brokenness, what more can we add to this message idea for how to build open and honest relationships? Is there any other way to share God’s love? One of the biggest challenges as a Christian outreach is to overcome the perception common among both Christian and non-Christian teens alike, that of being judgmental and preachy.

If this level of communication is so critical to sealing a relationship with a major vendor or repeat sales with a loyal customer, how much more important is in meeting a teen where they are, in the middle of whatever teenage things they’re going through? Enter the power of story. Kristin’s story, our story, God’s story for all of us, these are authentic stories that reach beyond social, economic or age statuses and can open the doors to connectedness, healing and love.

What do you do to build communication and authentic relationships?

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The Lump in Your Throat

We love the reactions we get from people when we share our message with others for the first time. Today I had a chance to share The Right Now! Vision with a great guy, Blaine Hogan, Producer / Experience Engineer at Willow Creek Community Church. Through his blog, he offered to share office hours, like another friend of The RNV, Tim Schrader who were both very generous with their time, talents and encouragement with us and many others brainstorming, sharing creative vision and communicating messages.

The great thing about talking to people like Blaine and Tim isn’t that they’re somehow above us and we’re getting their stamp of approval, validating our vision, it’s that they understand where we’re coming from and what we’re trying to do because they’re on similar paths. I’m humbled that as many times as I’ve shared the story of Right Now and how it touched me, it continues to do so, even today. Within a few seconds of exchanging initial pleasantries with Blaine, as I started to share Kristin’s story, I choked up and had to take a few deep breaths before continuing.

The half hour went way too fast, but I really appreciated one thing in particular that Blaine said: “Always start with the thing that puts a lump in your throat.” You can’t make up a lump in your throat; it only comes from being truly touched by something, and others know it too. You don’t have to make up a story when it’s the truth. We don’t have to make up a story about God’s unconditional love for you. That truth has already spoken, we just want to share the story with you, Right Now.

What’s story do you need to share? What put’s a lump in your throat?

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Low and Slow-That is the Tempo – What the Beastie Boys can Teach us About our Nonprofit

“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?

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