A Pregnancy Center Executive’s Journey to an LSM: Wisdom Part A
Two months in to his new role as Executive Director at Crisis Pregnancy Services George Knight sat starring down at the city street from his second floor Executive office. It was a nice office but the walk up the cavernous lonely stairwell from the busy city sidewalk felt a lot like being transported into a private detective novel where the PI’s office was in an old ACME building complete with metal desks and Spartan wooden chairs. A chill wind was blowing and somehow managed to find its way through the failed molding of the big windows that were part of the old 1900 brick façade. It was only 3 P.M. and already it was starting to get dark there up near the boarder of Canada. The cloudy sky did not help to brighten things up. Sitting there he wondered what it would really take as an Executive to turn around this small, fledgling non-profit Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC). He wondered . . . would a handful of volunteers, no professional services to speak of, few clients being served from day to day, and just three part time staff be enough to bring the organization to a new level of professional medical service? Not to mention the fact that the annual budget was just a little over $100,000 supported by a couple hundred small but committed donors. Yet they did have $48,000 in the bank to invest in rejuvenating the organization. Secretly though George wondered if it would be enough.
The Board of Directors brought George on with the primary commission of converting the operation from a traditional lay counseling CPC to one that offered professional medical services to women facing unplanned pregnancy. The board felt that the organization was not reaching the women the organization was created to help; pregnant women who were at risk for an abortion. They reasoned that adding a professional medical service like ultrasound technology could be the one thing that may make the organization appear more relevant to the women they needed to reach. George did not question that assumption at first. However, adding medical services was not an easy task especially in a State where this was uncharted territory as well as a State that seemed to over legislate everything. Added to that the town had a history of being pro-abortion, and currently housed 13 practices that provided abortion with an estimated 8000 abortions occurring in town annually. The competition for the attention of the women facing unplanned pregnancy was almost overwhelming. Additionally the organization and its supporters were grieving the untimely death of the previous executive who George was replacing. But George felt a deep sense of commitment, as if God Himself had called him to this mission of reversing the abortion trend in the community. And therefore in his more optimistic moments believed that the resources he had at his disposal would be enough to get that little organization where it needed to go. Two things George new for sure: 1) He did not know enough to get this job done on his own and 2) He knew some people that might be able to help.
For case studies of pregnancy centers that have implemented a comprehensive linear service model click here.