WINCHESTER, Va. – “The Choice: The Christ-centered Pursuit of Kingdom Outcomes,” a new book from ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), examines the most important yet least examined issue in ministry today: how we determine success.
Defining success is one of the most challenging decisions churches and ministries make. Improper views of success can severely impact organizational governance, financial management and fundraising/stewardship — three of the pillars on which ECFA (www.ecfa.org) is founded.
The financial accountability ministry asked three organizational professionals — Dr. Gary G. Hoag, Dr. R. Scott Rodin and Dr. Wesley K. Willmer — to explore these issues in “The Choice” and map a Christ-centered course for churches and ministries that is biblically faithful and positions the ministries ECFA serves for fruitfulness.
The authors also address the temptations of culturally defined success, including production-driven leadership, expansion-focused strategies, earthly oriented metrics, results-based management and a utilitarian view of resources.
“For too long, secular values and cultural norms have served as enticements to how we operate our ministries and define success,” said Dan Busby, president of ECFA. “These standards push us to achieve higher and greater results — but often at the expense of a biblical roadmap. ‘The Choice’ puts us back on the right path and will hopefully assist churches in mapping rewarding and faithful futures.”
“The Choice” recently was selected as the Christian Leadership Alliance’s 2014 featured conference publication. The conference will take place in Dallas, Texas, April 14-16.
Numerous Christian leaders have already spoken highly of “The Choice.”
“With all the Christian formulas of leadership that simply mimic popular models and smatter them with some Bible, you’ll find in ‘The Choice’ a refreshingly different take,” said Barry H. Corey, president of Biola University. ”Here’s a book that starts with the Book and draws the reader into what Christ-centered ministry and leadership should look like.”
“When it comes to running our churches and ministries, it requires a consuming adoration for the Savior not to become seduced by the ways of our culture,” said Joni Eareckson Tada, founder of Joni and Friends International Disability Center. “‘The Choice’ helps us turn away from those siren calls that can drown out the Spirit’s guiding whispers …. This book is so timely for today’s Christian leaders — I highly recommend it.”
The authors tackle three temptations that churches and ministries face — control, idolatry and pride — and provide 10 marks that identify Christ-centered ministry, including submission to the Father, prayerful strategic planning and raising kingdom resources, among several others. “The Choice” also includes a variety of practical resources for small groups and larger ministry settings.
ECFA chose three authors for “The Choice” who brought decades of successful and biblically focused organizational experience. Dr. Gary G. Hoag provides spiritual and strategic counsel for denominational leaders. Dr. R. Scott Rodin has served for nearly three decades as counsel, coach and trainer for nonprofit organizations around the world. Dr. Wesley K. Willmer is senior vice president of advancement for Prison Fellowship Ministries.
“We put this book together not only as a way to provide a kingdom path of success for organizations at all levels and stages of development, but also to help them flourish according to Christ’s standards,” Busby said. “We hope and pray ‘The Choice’ will catalyze a Great Awakening worldwide — from lay people to leaders and from employees to executives.”
“The Choice” can be purchased by visiting thechoicebook.org.
ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian churches and nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. To learn more about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit www.ecfa.org or call 1-800-323-9473.
To schedule an interview with Dan Busby: