Why We Changed Our Name

On April 18, Servant Foundation will assume the name of our national affiliate, the National Christian Foundation.

Since our beginning in 2000 as the first local chapter of National Christian Foundation (NCF), Servant Christian Community Foundation has granted over $430 million to churches and ministries within our community and beyond, spanning all fifty states.

So why the change? We believe that adopting the National Christian Foundation’s brand will open the door to new donors and greater giving. By working as one with NCF, we can do more to simplify giving, multiply impact and glorify God.

Rest assured that although our name will change, our mission will not. Our focus is to ignite a culture of biblical generosity to fund the Kingdom and change the world. We will continue to inspire, teach and facilitate a movement of generosity throughout God’s Kingdom.

Our purpose – to aggressively seek innovative ways to spread the gospel – remains unchanged. As does our team: the people you’ve come to know and trust are still here. As National Christian Foundation Heartland, we will continue to serve as your advocate for funding revolutionary biblical generosity locally, nationally and around the world.

We hope you will welcome our name change, new logo and updated website, and continue helping us spread God’s Word and funding the Kingdom. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call or email.

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3)

Onward,
William High
President / General Counsel, Heartland
National Christian Foundation

Traveling Gold

You know what they say, “just follow the money.” Well, that’s true in scripture too.

Consider this. The first place that gold is mentioned in the scriptures is actually in the Garden of Eden:

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that   land is good… (Gen. 2.10-11)

And why not? Why wouldn’t the land of paradise have gold? Naturally, it would.

But with the fall of man, we see gold become an object to wrestle over it. Men accumulated it. Abraham had a lot of it. Men melt it down and reshape it, and literally idolize it. It covers the doors of palaces, thrones, and fills the treasuries.

Wars get fought over it. The kings carried it off, and yet still other kings attacked and carried it off to their own palaces. David. Solomon. Nebuchadnezzar. Cyrus. Darius. Back and forth, back and forth in wheelbarrows no less I suspect.

But with every story, and with every money trail, there’s always a conclusion. And in the case of gold, there’s an end for it as well. The gold of Eden, gold which is good, is found one again in the book of Revelation. It is the culmination, the apex of history, the dawn of a new era when we all return to the new Eden. It’s positioned appropriately in the new city, the new Jerusalem:

Pavement.

William High is the President of the Servant Foundation (www.servantchristian.com). Servant’s mission is to inspire, teach and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity. He may be reached at whigh@servantchristian.com.

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I Don’t Know Where to Give

Did you read the story of the Michigan university that just received a gift of $100 million dollars to start a hospital?

The gift was anonymous, and I certainly don’t know the details. But nonetheless it makes one pause. What were the circumstances that lead to the gift? Certainly, we’ve read or seen situations like this where a donor makes a large gift with little apparent tie to an organization. Why?

In some cases, the donors just didn’t know where to give. Think about this situation: a $100 million dollar gift to start a hospital. Does the community need a hospital? Where will the nurses and doctors come from? In this day of consolidation, will there be an overlap of services? Will this lead to another empty building somewhere?

One of the first foundation conferences I attended, a church was in attendance because they were looking at starting a foundation from scratch. Why? Because a donor had just left them a $17 million dollar gift, they were forced to scramble. In this case the donor had little relationship to the church. In short, he just didn’t know where to give.

As we see the Boomer generation heading toward retirement and the sale of their businesses, we’ll see more and more of this. If these relationships are not nurtured, maintained, found and developed, we’ll see more desperation gifts—gifts with no apparent relationship to the charity.

Indeed, how much better if the donor can learn to develop his natural passion for giving and can develop a strategic plan for giving. That approach will take a wise and seasoned team set up to serve givers in that way.

William High is the President of the Servant Foundation (www.servantchristian.com). Servant’s mission is to inspire, teach and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity. He may be reached at whigh@servantchristian.com.

Make a Gift of the Irreplaceable

She was a girl to catch everyone’s attention.

Her blonde hair was pulled back into a neat ponytail. And her blue eyes shimmered with youth. The pink dress fit smartly and matched perfectly with her still pinker shoes.

She slipped her hand into her man’s hand and skipped playfully out the door with her thumb stuck in her mouth. I suspected she was not much more than three years old.

Her grandfather seemed kind. Their conversation was that of only a three year old and one of grandfather age: easy, comfortable and simple. It seemed to me that they were on a McDonald’s date. I know nothing of their story—only what I observed of them from my perch. It was cute.

Most of all, it made me think. I never knew my grandfather on either side of my family. On my mom’s side, he’d passed away in another country long before I would have met him. And on my father’s side, it was alcohol and the miles that kept us separated.

And it occurred to me, what a great gift this little girl with the pink dress possessed: time with her grandfather. How often I need to be reminded in my own life, with my spouse, with my children, to give this gift. It’s the gift of time, and it is irreplaceable.

William High is the President of the Servant Foundation (www.servantchristian.com). Servant’s mission is to inspire, teach and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity. He may be reached at whigh@servantchristian.com.

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The World’s Richest Man

Someone forwarded me a link the other day on the world’s second richest man. It was a story about Warren Buffett and was a wonderful story of the way he lives—with simplicity.

But the article got me thinking about who truly is the world’s richest man? And as I stopped to ponder the candidates, it occurred to me immediately that riches could not be measured in monetary terms. Indeed, how many of the world’s wealthy have faded from the world scene just as a summer storm. For instance, many of our kids today would not even know the name Andrew Carnegie.

A man’s wealth has to be measured more than in a bank account. So should it be progeny? Consider Father Abraham—he was blessed to be the father of many nations. By his seed, we have been blessed with life. But surely, it cannot be the number of children one spawns. That route could take us into all kinds of mindless welfare routes.

True riches—what does it equal? The answer I hope is all too obvious—lives transformed. Who was, and is the greatest transforming agent of all time? Jesus. No other person can claim the impact on this world. Cities, nations and cultures have been influenced by his life. Countless millions have confronted his claims and submitted to his simple claims.

If the Purple Heart award were given in the spiritual sense then Jesus would have an entire bank of them. The richest man in the world has to measured by all the millions and millions of lives that he touched.

This all makes me wonder just a bit how my riches will be measured someday.

William High is the President of the Servant Foundation (www.servantchristian.com). Servant’s mission is to inspire, teach and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity. He may be reached at whigh@servantchristian.com.

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Why Are We Not Giving to the Japan Disaster?

We’ve all seen the pictures of the huge waves engulfing Japan, the fires and families wandering up the streets with nothing but plastic bags. But in truth, I wonder if the biggest news is the potential damage from the nuclear reactors.

Why has the struggle of this nation failed to grip our conscience? Consider Haiti:

  • two days after the disaster, Americans had texted more than $5 million in donations to the Red Cross
  • in five days, more than $92 million had been given to the same agency
  • Hollywood got into the act and just 10 days after the fact raised $57 million in a telethon

There’s a lot more that could be said about the outpouring of relief to Haiti, but you get the idea.

On the other hand, Japan has not prompted such an outpouring. Hollywood is having no telethon. The only significant Hollywood contribution has been from Sandra Bullock.

The newswires tell us that generally people don’t feel sympathy for Japan. They are an able bodied nation who can fend for themselves. And where they cannot, there is a belief that the Japanese government will step in (notwithstanding that Japan has one of the highest debt to GDP ratios of any country in the world).

So here’s the question: does our generosity depend on our view of need? Or does our generosity start with compassion? Are we less moved to give because we think there is a government lifeline?

I wonder if in the days to come, and when more disasters come, if we’ll find that our generosity remains framed in this view.

William High is the President/General Counsel of the Servant Foundation. Servant’s mission is to inspire, teach and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity. He may be reached at whigh@servantchristian.com.

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The Puzzling Blessing of a Curse

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes marvel at scripture. It amazes me sometimes how in the story of scripture I see God take that which is broken, cursed and even twisted and turn the story into something redemptive.

Consider the story of Ham. You remember him. His dad was Noah. Well, some years after the flood, Noah got drunk on some wine, which had come from the vineyard he’d planted. Ham saw his father naked, and apparently with some glee went and told his brothers—Shem and Japheth—about his father’s condition.

It’s curious. When Noah learns of Ham’s indiscretion, he pronounces a curse. But the curse is upon, not Ham, but upon the fourth son of Ham—who just happens to be Canaan. Why Canaan? I’m not sure we’ll ever know the full story, but some commentators have remarked that Noah had seen the same troublesome traits in Canaan.

But of course the story doesn’t end there. Canaan moves away and establishes himself in cities, which ultimately becomes known as the land of Canaan. This land of Canaan is the very same land which God promises to Abraham.

The curse becomes the promised land. The curse becomes the blessing. And it seems that is how God works. He takes that which is broken, and redeems it. Our lives, of course, are part of that redemptive story.

It strikes me that is why giving is so powerful. Our giving reflects our participation in God’s divine and redemptive work. It reflects the idea that we can participate with the Master in celebrating how He makes all things new—even that which was cursed.

William High is the President/General Counsel of the Servant Foundation. Servant’s mission is to inspire, teach and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity. He may be reached at whigh@servantchristian.com.

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