Archive for the ‘ Organizing Your PRC for Success ’ Category

Centrality of Prayer: A View from the Front

“We shall not become like Christ until we give Him more time” said Frank Laubach, missionary to the Muslims in the southern Philippines at the turn of the 20th century. And how do we give Christ more time? Prayer. E.M. Bounds in his little book Power Through Prayer observed: “The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men–men of prayer.”

God anoints men not methods

James 5:16 states, “…the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

 “What would happen if we prayed harder than we worked?” This question came up in a staff meeting recently after several months of discussion over how to be more effective at reaching and serving women at risk for abortion. It is not as if we don’t pray. We do. Sure there is the terse yet meaningful prayer at the beginning and end of meetings, the pause for prayer at our computers when we receive the PrayerNet update, and even the PrayerNet initiative itself which has been building for years. But what seems absent is real, laborious, standing-in-the-gap, pleading as one might plead for the life of a son or daughter type prayer.

CompassCare’s future patients are in desperate need of loving and passionate followers of Jesus beseeching God on their behalf. This kind of prayer-work takes a certain wholeness of soul, a certain dedication to holy living, a certain radical re-prioritization of the use of our time and resources. As we have considered how to be more intentional about incorporating prayer into the daily CompassCare routine several ideas have surfaced: 1) On-site Prayer Teams during all patient hours, and 2) Lead by example by having all staff and volunteers in the office on Tuesdays-Thursdays pray for patients from 12:30-1:00, the start of patient care shifts.

An increase and focus on prayer seems to be having an effect. I received the following email from Kathy, CompassCare’s RN Team Leader, last week and it illustrates the battle we are in for the hearts and minds of young women and the indispensable power of prayer to reach and serve them.

Dear Staff, 

If you take a look at the calendar yesterday, you’ll see that Tammy (a CompassCare staff RN) and I had our hands full! It was a tremendous day of activity – and the one word I would use to describe it is “POWERFUL”.    

We had 12 scheduled patients and one walk in. There were a total of 8 new pregnant patients and 8 abortion-minded (AM) patients. What made it interesting is the awareness that a spiritual battle was going on, and we were winning. There were several references to Planned Parenthood (PP) from 4 or 5 different patients, all of them saying that they had made (or tried to make) appointments with PP, but changed their minds and didn’t know why. One patient said she was referred to us by PP (which I can’t imagine is true.) One patient (a return pregnancy – very AM) was on her way to PP the day before and suddenly told her boyfriend to turn the car around and go to Starbucks. During her time of “thinking it through,” she suddenly received a vision for her future that included a child in her life…and she got excited about it, and kept her appointment with us. It was astounding to hear how the Spirit of God directed her so clearly. I asked another new pregnancy very AM patient how she felt after seeing her 14 week old on ultrasound.  She blurted out some shocking truth-soaked statements: “THAT is a human being and THAT makes abortion wrong. Abortion is the most selfish decision a woman could make because it’s only about what she wants, what she thinks she has to have, and isn’t considering the fact that there is a real baby’s life to consider.” I was pleasantly shocked she was speaking these words of revelation after saying the opposite just moments before. We had one new pregnancy patient, undecided about her plans, bring her 7 year old daughter with her. This patient told me that eight years ago, she made an appointment at PP to terminate her unplanned pregnancy.  Then she second guessed that decision and cancelled the appointment. She repeated that pattern SEVEN times–making the appointment, and cancelling, until finally in exasperation, she found another unplanned pregnancy care center: CompassCare. She said that’s when she knew she was going to keep her baby. Now again – she’s still undecided about her current pregnancy, but she said, “There are many voices in my ear telling me I should keep it, and so that’s the direction I am leaning.” Finally, our last patient was an 18 year old young lady, who just found out she was pregnant in our office yesterday, and has decided to continue her pregnancy. She also decided to give her life to Jesus! That, folks, is a good day. 

I thought you’d like to know what was happening on the front lines in our office yesterday.  The presence of God was real, the battle with death was evident, but even more clear was the power of life, grace and truth.  

Grateful to serve alongside you all,

Kathy

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph 6:12). 

If you are interested in being a part of the newly formed Prayer Teams and coming in to the office during clinical hours to pray for these young women or joining the PrayerNet email list, please email daniel.tomlinson@compasscare.info.

New Study Suggests 3% Cap on Pregnancy Center’s Ability to Reach Abortion-minded

Download and read the new suggestive study Reaching Abortion-minded Women Study 5-30-12b

We decided to test a theory. My hypothesis was that no pregnancy center medical or otherwise could reach more than 3% of the market of abortion-minded women in their region. We tested that theory on several of the CompassCare network centers and found something we did not expect–the theory was right and wrong. What I mean is that there might well be two different types of pregnancy centers; abortion hub centers and non-abortion hub centers. What we found was that the centers located in non-abortion hubs (places with less than 1500 abortions per year with an abortion rate of less than 16% compared to area pregnancy rates) experienced marketing results with a typical proportionate increase in clientele to marketing spend rate. HOWEVER, we also found that centers located in abortion hubs (places with more than 1500 abortions and an abortion rate equal to or greater than 16%) could not get past 2.7% of the market share no matter how much money they spent on advertising.

We are not sure why this is the case but if it holds true in a wider study it could have major implications on how the pregnancy center movement can maximize services to help women more effectively and reduce America’s abortion trend. Our first step is increase the number of centers participating in the study. All we have right now is a study that suggests a trend. We need to test it with information from more centers.

Needed are three (3) simple pieces of information:
1) Center Name and Location (City, County, and State) for demographic purposes
2) Number of abortion-minded women served in 2011 (women who said they wanted an abortion or who otherwise viewed it as a primary option)
3) Total Marketing dollars spent for 2011

What Does the Vision Walk Do?

Supporting Women with Vision After Having a Baby

Why do so many people participate in the Vision Walk? People from all church denominations and backgrounds come together in an amazing display of ecumenical solidarity and passion seldom witnessed today. And all for one reason–to erase the need for abortion.

What does the Vision Walk actually accomplish? The Walk certainly raises critical funds for the mission but it does so much more than that. The Walk raises awareness in our community about the vital life affirming work of CompassCare. It is a tool for pledge-raising walkers to give other people the opportunity to participate financially in what God is doing insulating women from the exploitative practices of abortionists as well as to save the lives of pre-born children through the information and services women deserve in order to make a truly informed decision. Only when a woman feels free to choose to have her baby is her choice truly free, free from coercion. So ultimately what the Vision Walk does is give followers of Jesus another opportunity to reconcile the world to God. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation . . .” 2 Corinthians 5:18.

Walk for Vision!

Join the team at 9:00 A.M. this Saturday, May 19th at MCC’s Brighton Campus. Bring your family to CompassCare’s annual Vision Walk and Family Festival. Already almost $45,000 has been raised with over 200 pledge raising walkers. That’s 15% ahead of where we were last year this time. And those numbers will skyrocket as it always does on Saturday toward the goal of $333,000! I’ll meet you there. If you would like to sponsor a walker or become a pledge-raising walker click here.

Watch me on YouTube describing why the Vision Walk is important.

CompassCare Vision Walk and Family Festival-Why $333,000?

CompassCare’s recent outreach campaign has increased patient call volumes by 101% with twice as many women at risk for abortion choosing to have their babies over the same time frame last year! See new TV ads below.

Partner in an even deeper way with CompassCare during the 2012 Vision Walk and Family Festival.

Goal: Raise $333,000

Why? 1) Reach 20% of all women at risk for abortion in the Rochester Region

2)  Train other pregnancy centers to become just as effective as CompassCare!

Merry Christmas, you broken down old Building and Loan!

“You call this a happy family! Why do we have to have all of these kids?” George Bailey exclaims to his wife while experiencing financial despair in the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life. George’s presumption: Children are a (financial) burden. You know the story; George soon learns that life is not about acquiring what the world has to offer. It’s not about securing the world’s education. It’s not about seeing the world or even conquering the world. In the climax of the film on Christmas Eve, George never gets the high paying job with the fancy clothes and travel opportunities. He never gets to go to school or even leave Bedford Falls. What George gets is a revelation from God. A revelation about how living and providing for others is inestimably more powerful than living and spending for oneself. In one scene there is a picture of George’s father hanging on the wall at the Bailey Building and Loan office, the one institution standing between the people of Bedford Falls and a devious, power hungry banker named Potter. Under the picture it reads, “The only thing you can take to heaven is what you give to others.” Perhaps an echo of what Jesus says in Matthew 6:20: “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.”

What Potter did-the “warped, frustrated, old man”-was take advantage of people’s unfortunate circumstances. What the Building and Loan did was provide the people with freedom to become who they were meant to be. George’s father was founder of the Building and Loan and when he died Potter made a motion that the board of directors dissolve the company, leaving the population of Bedford Falls at the mercy of Potter’s evil schemes. George seeing the future injustice and abuse addressed the board saying, “This town needs this measly one-horse institution if only to keep people from having to go crawling to Potter.”

Maybe the multi-billion dollar international abortion industry is like Potter conspiring to take advantage of women facing unplanned pregnancy. And maybe little pregnancy centers yours and mine are like the little Bailey Building and Loan working vigorously to offer the gift of vision to a woman drowning in a river of overwhelming circumstances, a vision of her future after having a baby. Without your pregnancy centers most of the women at risk for abortion would be forced to go with the only alternative available to them and make the tragic choice of terminating their pregnancy.

You and I both know that not a sane woman alive wants to have an abortion. Women seriously considering abortion are so because they feel stuck, like they have no choice; they feel like they need an abortion. Pregnancy centers convert the generous resources of the community into tangible help, providing baseline pre-natal care, options consultations, and on-going community based support. All this in an effort to safeguard not only the future of her child but also the woman’s future reproductive health. This type of ethical support actually insulates women from the pressures that drive her to get an abortion, providing her with real empowerment, the kind that frees her to say, “I could actually have this baby if I wanted to.” Your pregnancy center, like the Bailey Building and Loan, stands in the gap and champions the cause of those in desperate need of alternatives to twisted agendas and unethical practices keeping America from becoming Planned Potterville.

Thank you, Executives, for faithfully serving in what I am sure sometimes feels like a broken down old building and loan. Rest assured, the world is different because of what you do every day. Merry Christmas and may God bless all.

Effective Leadership=Reading the Right Things

It has been said that ‘leaders are readers’ primarily because leaders are thinkers. But what kind of things are leaders reading/thinking about? Thomas Jefferson said, “The man who reads nothing at all is better informed than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” Perhaps if Jefferson were living today he might exchange the word newspapers for ‘CNN’ or ‘Fox Evening News.’ When all we read and consume is popular media like newspapers, magazines, television, radio, the most recent Danielle Steel novel or a blog post we let others decide for us what is important to think about. As leaders it is imperative that we determine the things that are important on which to spend our time thinking.

Popular Media Does Not Inform Good Leaders

Another reason why consuming only popular media is a bad thing for our leadership ability is the fact that it is designed to force us to think in a binary fashion. Is this right or wrong, black or white, good or bad? This type of thinking capitalizes on the emotion rather than the higher brain function where reasoning takes place. As leaders we know that this is not a binary world of decisions we are living in. If we made all our decisions based on emotion the organizations we lead would devolve into diffuse and impotent albeit well meaning small groups. Our world is a world of wisdom whereby we must make a choice between shades of grey. Often there is no obvious black and white choice but 3 or 4 or 10 options any one of which we could choose and none of which we have enough information about in order to be absolutely certain that the right choice has been made.

This is where the right kind of reading comes in to play. Leaders are by definition decision-makers. Decision-making takes place in the realm of strategy. And to make a solid strategic decision requires that in the absence of hard facts the appropriate moves are made to place the necessary resources to accomplish the necessary tasks to accomplish the mission more effectively. But because decision-making takes place in the fire of a host of ever-changing variables it becomes important to understand not just what you are trying to accomplish but also the context in which it is to be accomplished. This means that a leader must have a good grasp on human nature, on the nature of diplomacy, on the nature of the use of power, etc. The only way to understand these all important categories is through reading, and not just reading good books about leadership. Leaders need to be reading the ‘classics.’

Good Leaders Actively Read the Classics

Books that stand the test of time from generation to generation. Classic literature is the only type of medium that can communicate the sweeping themes, categories and ideas necessary to help a leader not just ignite the passion of their followers but to understand the dynamics involved in accomplishing something unique and valuable in this world. Literature is truly the only form of communication that is unbounded by the restrictions of current events and facts. A narrative can communicate that which needs to be communicated. God in His infinite wisdom understanding how he created mankind to be part of a larger epic story used different forms of literature to communicate the nature of fallen humanity, the transcendent character of God in whose image we are made, the history of redemption, and how each of us has a part to play. He uses narrative, poetry, wisdom, prophecy, letters, and even apocryphal literature to connect men’s actions today with the sweeping epic grandeur of  a great cosmic strategy. There are other texts that have stood the test of time to a lesser extent than the Bible such as The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli, Plato’s Republic, and Homer’s Illiad.

Steven Sample said in his book, “The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership” recommends reading what he calls “super texts” 20 minutes per day. This translates into 120 hours of solid leadership reading every year! Leaders, you are what you read. Disciplined reading results in disciplined thought which results in focused action.

To read more check out the new Linear Service Model blog post HERE.

Call for Standards and Accountability

CompassCare has been beating the drum of standards and accountability since 2005 when we copyrighted the first Linear Service Model for medical pregnancy centers ever. After seeing 2039 women at risk for abortion having their babies in 2010 in just 10 PRCs we have seen the value. Value not just in terms of being more effective with the mission of reaching women and helping them have their babies but value in terms of leadership confidence. We as executives know that we have the moral high ground and can be as bold as we need to be in order to safeguard the organizations we run. Whether we’re talking to a Senator about regulatory legislation, communicating to donors, responding to the media, or exposing abortionists for their immoral and fraudulent practices a linear service model frees us to lead with confidence. Since 2005 there have been many instances on both sides of the service coin (abortionists and pregnancy centers alike) where objective standards and documented evidence of accountability would have served the cause of women and children well. As this is being written there is legislation being considered in Washington State and New York that would regulate pregnancy centers. One of the key arguments from the abortion lobby is that Pregnancy Centers adhear to no set standard and therefore need to be governed. We all know that abortionists if regulated are not held accountable to those regulations as seen in the recent horror in PA and the Planned Parenthood clinic in NJ. See my comments on the latest revelations of abortionists on with Twitter (see right hand column below) and Facebook too.

As pregnancy centers we are uniquely suited to set the standard for women’s reproductive health in America. But we must first implement those standards in our own centers first. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:30-32; “For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” My concern is that many pregnancy centers are ‘weak and sick’ because of a lack of appropriate judgment (self-discipline) that only comes with delivering professional services (medical or counseling) in line with accepted industry standards. Government regulatory legislation is a judgment that will ultimately condemn the pro-life pregnancy care movement to the religion of secular humanism.

Legal Do’s and Don’ts for Pregnancy Centers and Other Non-Profits

Many Executives and leaders of non-profits like pregnancy centers do not engage in political issues during the election season for fear of the negative impact it might have on their non-profit status. The attorney Barry Bostrom and his legal firm Bopp, Coleson, & Bostrom have put together a list of activities that we as non-profit organizations can and cannot do. Most pregnancy centers are registered as 501 (c) (3) organizations under the IRS tax code and as such have legal rights to engage in certain kinds of activities to not only protect their organizations but also to further the cause of community change for which their organization exists. To download this very helpful document click the following link:

Political Do’s and Don’ts during Election Season

Some examples of things you can and cannot do as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit pregnancy center are:

(1) Discuss the positions of political candidates on issues: Yes

(2) Endorsement of political candidates: No

(3) Financial contributions to political candidates: No

(4) In-kind Contributions to political candidates: No

(5) Independent expenditures in favor of or against political candidates: No

(6) Fundraising projects for political candidates: No

(7) Contributions to PAC’s: No

(8) Electioneering Communications regarding Federal candidates: Yes

(9) Expenditures related to state referendums: Yes

(12) Appearance of political candidate at meeting: Yes

(14) Voting records Yes

More Abortion-minded Women: Making Your Dream a Reality

An issue came up in a Pregnancy Center Leadership discussion group recently that we as executives think about all the time: “How can we reach more pregnant women truly at risk for abortion?” and its sister question, “How can we serve those women in a way that more consistently helps them have their babies?” The particular conversation centered around an executive of a Pregnancy Center in a Midwestern college town feeling like they are not reaching enough abortion-minded women compared to the number of abortions taking place there.

“What exactly leads you to conclude that you actually have a problem?” I asked. “You have made some logical assumptions but your logic is hidden to the rest of us. I am sure you have already figured this out but it would be helpful for the rest of us to get a really good handle on how you arrived at your concern and more importantly what to do about it. Would you be willing to be a little case study for us by answering the following questions for us to chew on? I believe the old adage is true: What gets measured gets fixed. Perhaps we can analyze this as a group of PRC executives in an effort to not only help you but help each other.

1. How many abortions occur in your area annually? 1000

2. How many abortion providers are in your county? 3

3. What is the primary ethnic, age and educational demographic of those women getting abortions? 18-24 Caucasian with 13 years of completed education (sophomore in college)

4. How many appointments did your organization schedule in 2009? 250

5. How many pregnancy tests were performed in 2009? 125

6. How many of those pregnancy tests were positive? 75

7. How many of those positive test patients did you consider to be ‘at risk for an abortion?’ 60

8. How many pregnant, at risk clients can you serve this year? Maybe 460

9. How many of the pregnant at risk patients received an ultrasound their fist visit? 45

10. How many of those said that they were going to continue the pregnancy at the end of their initial appointment? 38

The dream of this executive is to reach 460 pregnant women seriously considering abortion this year. Her initial impression was that all she needed to do was increase her advertising budget. Based on the information she provided if she wanted to reach all 460 women seriously considering abortion in her area using the organization’s current client trends and percentages she would need to filter through 12,000 client appoints per year!

We have found this scenario to represent the typical pregnancy center. What about your pregnancy center? This executive thought that the answer to her low client volume was more advertising. But there is a deeper issue at play. More advertising will only result in more of the same. The approach the center is taking in order to serve the right women in the right way needs  to be streamlined so they can accomplish their goal. (See Case Study of Omaha, NE Pregnancy Center) Otherwise they will be spending precious resources on women who are either not pregnant or not really at risk for abortion. The solution to this service problem lies at the philosophy of ministry that has been adopted. This pregnancy center while using an ultrasound machine is still in the old paradigm of pregnancy center ministry CompassCare coined the Global Service Model or Client-centered approach. In order for them to reach their goal of serving 460 pregnant at risk women they will need to adopt a new paradigm of ministry CompassCare coined the Linear Service Model (LSM).

For information about how to create a linear service model (LSM) to reach and effectively serve abortion-minded women go to prcoptimizationtool.com.

Linear Service Model Strategic Planning Survey

Strategic Planning for Results

Many executives have used the following tool to understand the overall health of their organizations and have found it clarifying. CompassCare developed this tool for the linear service training of executives. We thought it may benefit you too so we are releasing access to any who are interested in it.

If you are a center that has done some strategic planning and, like many, do strategic planning in the summer you may find this survey helpful as you look to focus your efforts. CompassCare uses this survey in Executive optimization training as a pre and post evaluation to attempt to visually graph where the organization is mature and where it needs to grow within the basic strategic planning categories. The survey takes no more than 20 minutes to complete and when you are done you get a nice graph showing organizational health in the five main areas of strategic health complete with explanations. If you are moving in the direction of a linear service model this survey could be a useful tool for you and your board. Enjoy!

Simply click here for the Executive Strategic Planning Workshop Survey. It will ask you for your email address. To ensure that you are a real person it will then immediately send a confirmation email with subject heading “Survey Registration Confirmation” which will contain a link to the survey. There is computer code within the email so if you do not receive the email with the link check you junk mail as sometimes is gets caught in spam filters.