16 Oct Don’t Throw in the Towel!
“If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest” (Ecclesiastes 10:4).
Did you know that the average tenure of a fundraiser is two years or less? Fundraising is a tough job. A recent survey indicated that unrealistic expectations, low appreciation, and dysfunctional work environments all contribute to this rapid turnover. Is there a way to hang on and be productive despite all the forces working against you? Solomon gave great counsel for employees when the king’s anger rises against you.
When You Face the Heat…
Is your boss mad at you for the sin of commission (something you did that you shouldn’t have done), or the sin of omission (something you should have done that you didn’t do)? Either way it’s unpleasant. Perhaps your boss has no legitimate reason to be dissatisfied with you or your work. Maybe he or she is just having a bad hair day. Perhaps you are the boss and you are facing heat from your board for some decision you made or didn’t make. Whatever situation you face, you need a plan to deal with your crisis.
And Feel Tempted to Quit…
We have three choices to resolve workplace conflict: flee, fight, or flow. Many take the easy way out and flee to the mirage of greener pastures. Solomon strongly counsels against this, “do not leave your post.” Others will stand and fight for their cause often exacerbating the situation. Some will opt for flow seeking to find a win-win situation where both parties compromise. That’s a hopeful solution, but often unrealistic. After all, compromise means that no one really gets what they want. Solomon offers a fourth option for conflict: face it calmly.
Keep Calm and Carry On!
No doubt you’ve seen a variation of this motivational poster. In 1939, the British government used this phrase to boost the morale of the British people as they prepared for World War II. Solomon was the first to preach this concept, “calmness can lay great offenses to rest.” Maybe you have greatly offended your boss or your board; Solomon gives hope that your conflict can be resolved peacefully. How does this work? When your boss/board blows a gasket, don’t respond in kind. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Instead of reacting sinfully, faithfully keep doing your job and calmly respond in kindness. God can use your gentleness to change hearts. “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone” (Proverbs 25:15).
Have a Spirit-led fundraising week,
Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored two books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising and Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for At the Center magazine and Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.