SPRING 2016 - Volume 10, Issue 2
 Challenges and Opportunities Facing our Faith Based Organizations' Leadership Today


     Chairperson's Message by Richard MacGowan
     Reflections by Kirk Bartha
     Upcoming CCRDA Forum 2016
     The Reality of Mission Drift by Peter Greer
     What is the Role of Religion in Humanitarian Relief? by Kent Hill
     The Challenges of our FBO's Leadership in a Secular Society by Steve Clarke
     CCIC's Analysis of the 2016 Federal Budget

Our upcoming Forum May 2nd & 3rd will prove to be an important time of reflection and encouragement.  It is my prayer that God will strengthen our minds and renew our hearts as we join together at the forum.

“The Challenges and Opportunities facing our Faith-based Organizations’ Leadership in Today’s Increasingly Secular Society” is a key session at this Forum.  The panelists will include:  Jim Ingram, CEO of Medair Switzerland; Michael Messenger, President of Word Vision; and Peter Greer, CEO of Hope International. This newsletter explores the issue more in depth. 
 Scripture comes to mind like, “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty” Zechariah 4:6. There are no challenges too big for God. I am also reminded of the Parable of the Good Samaritan in which Jesus teaches us to love our neighbours no matter who they are.  As leaders in our various organisations we are faced with many opportunities to show the love of Jesus to those with whom we come in contact.

I trust you have booked to be at the forum and I look forward to meeting you there.

God Bless,
Richard McGowan, CCRDA Chair
Toward Pentecost

After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, his friends were told to wait. They had been saturated with the most spiritually significant events of human history, and the seed of the cross was quietly and unobtrusively sending down roots. Being obedient and watchful, the display of God’s power [publically around them] was the revelation of His presence [personally to them].

It did not take long for Mark to document a catalytic storyboard. Eventually, Paul would declare publically his determined purpose to know Christ and the power of His resurrection [and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings].

The Church remains an ongoing and resilient witness of His majesty. History proves with circular, telescopic and retrograde precision, that those who behold Him personally become practical publically. Proverbs 28:1 states the righteous are as bold as lions, and this pride is territorial because He is, in a supernova kind of way. 

Looking toward Pentecost, keep this in mind and heart, that beyond all the data, statistics and analytics of the world, the Church will continue to defy the status quo while infiltrating the margins. Peoples and places the world declares off limits, the Church moves into those neighborhood, adopts those lonely ones into families, and plants a garden there for the common good of all. As Bernard of Clairvaux put it, "There is nothing that a pure heart, a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith will not venture."

Toward Pentecost, be intentional. Engage. Do not fear. Remain humble. Don’t slow down following Christ. All power is in Christ. He is with you in every trench and tower. Psalm 94:12 in the Message, “How blessed the man you train, God, the woman you instruct in your Word, providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil…”

Some may experience His power, while you’ll be captivated [and carried] by His presence. 


May 2 & 3 at World Vision, Mississauga, ON

 "A Spirituality for Relief and Development Work:
Reflecting, Raging and Rejoicing in Resonance with the Psalms."


Keynote speaker: Gideon Strauss - view his bio here. 3 sessions on:

1. A Spirituality of Rage: Living the Wrongness of Things in Conversation with God
2. A Spirituality of Wonder: Navigating to Meaning among the Ruins
3. A Spirituality of Hope: Surviving the Apocalypse and Anticipating the Festival of Friends

Extra workshops include:

1. Panel Discussion on "The Challenges and Opportunities Facing our FBOs' Leadership in an Increasingly Secular Society" with panelists: Michael Messenger, President of World Vision Canada; Peter Greer, CEO of Hope International; and Jim Ingram, CEO of Medair, Switzerland.
2. Peer to Peer Consulting: Bring your questions to the broad table and have others speak into them by sharing their expertise and experience.

Join us for "Development Drinks" on the Monday evening; a free event open to all staff of charitable agencies to attend. Send a representative from your organization to the AGM which is on Monday a.m. This year we are offering Student Rates and Day Rates.  
Mission drift is inevitable, unless you actively work to prevent it. It’s that simple, unless we are actively and regularly focusing our team, metrics, and model on our core mission, we will drift away from the founder’s purpose and passion. Drift can lead to a place where the original purpose and passion are virtually invisible.

Consider the example of an ancient movement created to care for those in need.

In the Middle Ages, the church sponsored a charity similar to modern-day urban food banks. Created as an alternative to loan sharks, montes pietatius helped people with meager incomes manage their money.

These charities provided low-interest loans to poor families, ensuring there was enough food on the table. Started by the Franciscans, who opened more than one hundred fifty, they became widespread throughout Europe. In 1514, even Pope Julius II gave an edict endorsing montes pietatius. The institutions were the lifeblood of poor European peasants.  Today, we know them as pawn shops.

In the 1300s, people in poverty met caring friars when they entered the doors of pawn shops. The shops existed to help the poor get back on their feet, and these friars had their best interests in mind. Today, often the opposite is true.

Pawn shops evolved from a tool designed to care for the needy to an instrument often preying on families in distress. Something intended for good drifted from its mission.

What happened to pawn shops is happening slowly and silently to many organizations today. As Paul Tripp commented, “The passions of the first generation become the preferences of the second generation and become irrelevant to the third generation.”

Avoiding mission drift at an organizational and personal level requires focused attention. It takes hard work. It takes intentionality.

There is a new generation of leaders who are convinced drift is a reality today, but are courageously leading in a different direction. They are bold in their convictions and gracious in their actions as they help their businesses, churches and charities remain Mission True.

Adapted from Mission Drift by Peter Greer and Chris Horst with Anna Haggard. For more on the book and how to remain Mission True, visit

The Rev. Daniel al-Khoury Timoteus leads a service at Mar Elia Church in Ankawa, 5 miles northwest of Erbil. He and the congregation are internally displaced Christian Iraqis. Photo by: Steve Jeter / World Vision
Some might ask why — as a Christian organization — do we expend such efforts to help an overwhelmingly Muslim population throughout the Middle East? And does our faith-based orientation allow us to contribute anything important to the crisis?

The first reason World Vision began responding to the Syria conflict was because as Christians we have a theological mandate to respond to all in need, regardless of what their faith tradition is or is not. Our commitment to all is found in Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan, and his words to his followers: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

For World Vision International, over a quarter of our $2.8 billion global budget addresses the needs of Muslims. Need is the sole criteria.

Is it possible to simultaneously be faithful to one’s core religious beliefs, and yet still provide assistance with absolutely no strings attached?  
World Vision, and other large Christian organizations, believe that it is, and operate on that assumption.

Indeed, we are one of 546 signatories to the 1994 Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and nongovernmental organizations in disaster relief. The third of its 10 principles is: “Aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.” It is important to note that the code forbids what might be called “proselytizing” in its common pejorative meaning, that is, in the sense of the unethical tying of aid to “embracing or acceptance of a particular political or religious creed.”

However, the code does not forbid anyone from publicly or privately celebrating their faith or reflecting it in word or deed as appropriate... 

An excerpt adapted from Kent Hill's article in Devex. To continue reading, and read the unabridged version of the article in Devex, click here.

“…Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9)
If we do not exemplify these characteristics in the power of the Holy Spirit, then we risk Peter’s caution of becoming “nearsighted and blind”…unmindful of Christ’s redemption in our lives.
In the 1980s, consultants encouraged Compassion International’s leaders to “drop the Jesus emphasis” and to instead focus on our poverty-alleviation programming. Rejecting that advice, we devised a ‘plumb-line’ of twelve biblically-driven aspirational Leadership Principles that are posted on the office walls of Compassion's partner countries.   In my nearly 25 years witnessing Compassion’s poverty alleviation work for children, I celebrate creative combinations of income generation, housing, primary health care, education, and training/equipping. But these are, at best, sub-sets of the world’s deepest needs. The Gospel of Jesus Christ that ushers-in spiritually transformed lives is the foundation our world craves.
Secular British journalist Matthew Parris agrees, in his breath-taking admission following a trip to Africa:
“Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: Sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. In Africa, Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.” 1
Body, mind, soul, and spirit: Our human make-up demands that we must hang-tough in being Christ-centred, regardless of increasing secularization around us. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (ESV)
[1] Greer, Peter and Chris Horst. Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities and Churches. Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House, 2014, p. 36.
The Federal budget 2016 had a modest increase to our aid budget of $256 million over two years. After five years of significant decline in Canada’s investments for addressing global development challenges, expectations were high to see the government reverse that decline. While the amounts are a move in the right direction, they are not enough to position Canada as a leader on the global stage. CCIC gives a news release with key facts, found here, as well as an analysis of the budget 2016 found here
We do not lose heart when the government's budget isn't all we hope. We look to God who isn't in need and who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). He sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). We trust Him to help us take care of those around us. Pray for all those in authority (1 Tim 2:2); pray for our government. We pray for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10).
Richard McGowan--Chairperson
Executive Director, Emmanuel International Canada

Laura Solberg--Co Vice-Chair
Director—The Elevation Project, Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited

Philip Tanner--Co Vice-Chair
Director, Global Programs, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada

Tracey DeGraaf
Senior Program Officer, Crossroads Christian Communications Inc.

Carole Leacock
International Programs Operations Manager, Programs and Policy, World Vision Canada

Jessica Nkongolo
Director, Projects & Operations, Kids Alive International Canada

Hank DeJong
Executive Director, EduDeo Ministries
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