Just like any other everyday hero, the quartet of life-savers honored as Servant Leaders at the 2013 Heartbeat International Annual Conference quietly go about their business with no expectation of being celebrated this side of heaven.
It came as no surprise, then, when the first winner—Becky Coggin Hyde—stood speechless, even flabbergasted, as Heartbeat President Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, PhD, announced the Arlington (TX) Pregnancy Centers director as the first of four recipients for Heartbeat’s most prestigious award.
Becky was joined by Beverly Kline, Ann Carruth, and Amy Jones, while Mary K. Tiller was tabbed as the inaugural “Heart of the Future Award” honoree for emerging leaders in the pregnancy help movement.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Becky became Director of Arlington Pregnancy Centers in 1987, and has served in that capacity ever since. In her 26 years, Becky has expanded the center—now called Arlington/Mansfield Pregnancy Centers—to four locations, along with a resale store that funds much of the ministry.
“Becky’s leadership skills are excellent,” one of her co-workers said. “When the Lord lays something on her heart and there is unanimous agreement with the Board, she moves expediently. She waits on the Lord, and she doesn’t move until she is sure He is in the midst of whatever project presents itself.”
Another of the award winners laboring in Texas, Beverly Kline, founded Living Alternatives in 1982 and still serves as executive director for the ministry that has served women and families with everything from pregnancy tests and living accommodations to life-skills training and adoption services in its 31-year history.
Originally based in Beverly’s one-bedroom apartment in Tyler, Texas, Living Alternatives now includes a pregnancy resource center, a resale ministry for teen foster girls (“Keeps Boutique”), a maternity home, and an adoption agency.
The third Texan recognized as a Heartbeat Servant Leader at her home-state Conference was Dallas-based Council for Life Founder Emeritus Ann Carruth.
One of 11 original founders of what was then known as Pregnancy Resource Council in 2001, Ms. Carruth’s vision to support a local pregnancy center began with a single banquet called “Celebrities Celebrating Life,” and has since raised $3.3 million.
Council for Life, who has partnered financially with Heartbeat, began a national affiliate program in 2011, encouraging other major pro-life donors in U.S. cities to unite for the cause of Life.
Amy Jones currently serves as Director of Servants for Life, an international ministry based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, which offers mentoring, coaching, counseling, and training to ministry leaders and boards. She began her life in ministry as a high schooler serving with Youth for Christ, and spent 22 years leading Christian Life Home, a housing ministry for young, pregnant girls.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship and as a consultant with Heartbeat International.
The founder and executive director for Expectant Heart Pregnancy Resource Center in Longview, Texas, Mary K. Tiller was given the first Heart of the Future award for younger leaders stepping into key roles in local pregnancy help organizations across the globe.
Mary K., who holds a master’s degree in Human Services, Marriage and Family from Liberty University, founded Expectant Heart in 2011, and the center began serving clients in November of 2012.
“Mary K. represents what a next-generation leader should be,” Heartbeat Director of Ministry Services Betty McDowell, LAS, said. “We have witnessed firsthand that she is a servant leader and a learner, and because of that, it has been our delight to work with her.”
To view all Heartbeat Servant Leader award recipients, click here.
“A servant leader is one who has a servant’s heart and mind, a servant’s values and attitudes, but a leader’s skill, a leader’s vision and ingenuity, and a leader’s creativity. A leader in its simplest definition has two primary ingredients. He is (1) influencing people (2) in a certain direction. That direction may be positive or negative.”-Tim Hansel
About the Award
Servant Leaders Awards are given to recognize special people who have given of themselves sacrificially in the service of Life, as both servants of others and leaders in their own right.
The first awards were given to individuals and couples who were some of the “giants” in the first 25 years of Heartbeat’s history, when we were called AAI.
Since we began awarding this honor in 1996, this list has grown to over 60 life-affirming individuals and couples, foot soldiers just like you, who have lovingly answered the call to hold each life precious.
by Jor-El Godsey, Vice President
Before you break out the mission statement, ministry tag-line or branded sound-bite, let’s look past today’s pundits’ and consultants’ definition of success.
Let’s see what the “Owner’s Manual” has to say about success. After all, if we are a Christian ministry, or simply Christians ministering, we should understand what the Bible has to say about success.
The New International Version has only a couple dozen occurrences of the word “success” (a few dozen more if we add “successor,” “successive,” etc.), and all of them are in the Old Testament.
When success is the subject of the verse, we see two distinct patterns. First, success is something that comes from the Lord, like Nehemiah 2:20: “I answered them by saying, ‘The God of heaven will give us success...’” Second, success is a reward for partnering/cooperating with the Lord, like we find in 2 Chronicles 26:5b: “As long as [King Uzziah] sought the LORD, God gave him success.”
Notice also that success noted in the examples above can be both corporate (“give us”) and individual (“gave him”). And again, success is noted as a gift from the Lord. Although the New Testament has no direct references to “success,” there are two themes that seem to indicate success among believers. These two, like the Old Testament references, are indicative of working and receiving from God.
1. Faithfulness. In 1 Corinthians 4:2, the Apostle Paul explains, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” Our Lord asks us to be full of faith, particularly faith He will accomplish what He desires, both in and through us.
2. Fruitfulness. In the Gospel of John (15:8), Jesus states, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Fruit, ostensibly good fruit, is also an indicator of our relationship to God and our faith in Him. We were created for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10) that bring glory to Him and advance His kingdom (in our hearts and elsewhere).
So, in our work today, success is more than any “outcome” (that word only shows up once... in The Message) related to our mission. Positive outcomes are excellent and to be celebrated as one measure of success. But as both ministers and ministries, our success must include faithfulness to the mission—even in the face of opposition—and fruitfulness where we count the victories of those who embrace life, and life everlasting.
As you take stock of the year just past, look back a little further. Rick Warren says we “overestimate what we can accomplish in a day, and yet underestimate what we can do in a decade.”
Look back over the last decade (or more) as a minister and a ministry, and celebrate the success of faithfulness and fruitfulness.
by Ellen Foell, Heartbeat International Legal Counsel
Your vision statement can, and should, serve as a north star, a guide to your center for all decisions and activities.
You should be able to communicate your organization’s raison d'être (reason for existence) to the most uninitiated passerby simply by quoting your vision statement.
To quote Heartbeat International’s GOVERN Well: Your Personal Board Member Manual:
The board should be committed to a vision that can be described as “what the world/our community will look like” when our mission is accomplished, when our overall goal is reached. (Section II, G-1)
Although crafting the vision statement can seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t need to be. A board seeking to craft a vision statement, or retool an existing statement, may want to consider the following suggestions:
1. Describe the organization’s purpose. The purpose should be described in one or two reader-friendly, jargon-free sentences. People outside your organization should be able to understand and appreciate your purpose by simply reading your vision statement.
2. Describe the population the organization will serve. For example, most pregnancy help centers serve women and children. However, some centers’ scope of service also includes everyone affected by unplanned pregnancies. In describing the targeted population, be brief, but comprehensive.
Example: “A community where true reproductive health care, based on the dignity of the person made in the image of God, and God’s plan for our sexuality, transcends death centered health care for women and their families.”
3. Describe the activities in which the organization will participate. Keep this description simple and short. You don’t need to list every service your center offers. A board should try to write this part of the vision statement in two sentences or less.
Example: “A community where every child has a chance to be born healthy and to be placed in the arms of a mother and father equipped in every way to provide a Christian home.”
4. Outline the organization's values. This part of the statement outlines the values that led to the center’s formation and the values partners, board, employees, and volunteers will exhibit while working towards the organization’s goals. Words like “true,” “dignity of the person,” and “image of God” all convey that the sanctity of life is a core value at the following center.
5. Describe what the organization wishes to accomplish. Answer the question, “What success looks like? In looking at the housing ministry’s statement we used above, it’s clear that, for this ministry, every child will be born healthy and placed in a Christian home:
Example: “A community where every child has a chance to be born healthy and to be placed in the arms of a mother and father equipped in every way to provide a Christian home.”
An organization’s vision statement speaks volumes about the board, the staff, and those associated with the organization. A good vision statement also pulls in those who previously had no connection with you.
Is it time to take a fresh look at your vision statement?
by Andrea Trudden, Director of Communications & Marketing
Being a full-time working parent of toddlers does not leave a lot of downtime.
At work, I have my task list that I check through each day. At home, I have my domestic duties that I enjoy. On the weekends, we have parties, church activities, and visitations. So, when I have a few moments to myself, I find I sometimes feel bored.
I literally don't know what to do with no obligations. (Hence this article I'm writing while waiting for my flight to take off.)
I believe I have become so accustomed to having obligations that I truly have not thought of downtime.
This has forced me to acknowledge that my husband and I have fallen into exactly what our priest warned against in premarital counseling—we are living for our family and not for ourselves.
It's very hard to not live for our family, however, because we both love them so much!
Recently, we were able to take a date night, before coming home and sorting through our bookshelves to clear space in our guestroom, of course. It was so nice to know that we can still just talk about nonsensical things and laugh at each other’s jokes.
Don't get me wrong, we talk every day. But we usually tend to talk about the cute thing one of our kids said, or our conversation revolves around planning for our next event.
This made me revisit Ephesians 5:15-17
""Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity..."
Although I interpreted this initially as, “Do as much as you can,” I’m coming to find that, sometimes what I actually need is an hour to shop, play a game, or just talk.
Sometimes, it’s more “productive” for my soul to stop trying to be so… well, productive.
I encourage you to take some time and do something for you. Maybe it’s walking, reading, or praying... just make sure it’s something you want to do, and something you can do without interruption.
Okay, back to work.
Jor-El Godsey, Vice President
When you take into account all those who have been wounded by this “choice”, it becomes even harder to find something positive—let alone to allow ourselves to think we’re winning.
But, before we throw our hands up and walk away, let’s consider two things that can give us at least a hint that, yes, we are winning.
First, the nearly 1,400 Heartbeat affiliates worldwide directly serve 1,000,000 moms, dads and babies every year. That’s direct service, not estimated impact. Think about it: If the pregnancy help community threw in the towel, countless additional lives would be added to the toll of dead and wounded on account of abortion.
Second, and more importantly, such discussions draw us to envision a time when no abortions are happening. We long for that day. We pray for that eventuality to come about. We hope to see the realization of that dream.
Many pro-lifers give their time and attention to achieve that BIG victory over abortion, by utilizing the political and legislative resources available to us. This is a necessary and worthy goal. But, until that happens, we can—and must—win ONE victory.
That ONE victory involves the mom and baby we will see today, in our centers, in our maternity homes. That’s what we do: We win one victory, one heart, one life at a time.
So take heart. We win every day we step into someone’s life and prevent the tragedy, the loss, and the violence of abortion they are otherwise headed for.
by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International Vice President
“Let’s get the volunteers to do it. That will save a bundle!”
Volunteers are often seen as a supply of labor for almost any task or for the implementation of an action item. Leaders - board members and directors alike - often assume that volunteers are the least expensive option available. Think again.
Many moons ago, our pregnancy help center utilized a team of volunteers to accomplish the bulk mailing of our newsletters and appeals. Trays of printed material and envelopes along with stickers and labels were distributed. Presto, some two weeks later the mailing had been delivered.
Upon closer inspection, we realized that, in addition to the volunteer time, two staff members had spent ten work hours (a total of twenty staff hours) each mailing cycle to coordinate the assembly, distribution, and postal paperwork for this process. A local mailing service (also known as a fulfillment house) that had more sophisticated equipment could lower the postal rate and turn the same task around in three working days as opposed to two weeks. Cost comparisons revealed that, for just a few dollars more, we could improve our process, tighten our turn around, and release several volunteers to more personally rewarding tasks.
All leaders recognize the scarcity of resources to accomplish the mission and achieve the vision. The good leader continually evaluates how to allocate the limited resources available for maximum return on the investment for the ministry and those involved.
Adapted from DIRECT Well™, Heartbeat International’s manual for directors.
From On the LeaderBoard | Volume 2, Issue 2
by Betty McDowell, Heartbeat International Director of Ministry Services
As a social worker in the mental health field, I was trained to assess a patient’s level of alertness and orientation by asking them four questions: (1) Who are you? (2) Where are you? (3) What is the date and time? (4) What just happened to you?
This simple exercise helped determine the next steps in diagnosing the patient and constructing a treatment plan. But I have since discovered the value of asking the same four questions to those serving in ministry when I try to help them diagnose a problem and move forward in a clear direction.
How would you answer these four questions?
I have found that spending a little time at the end of each day to review my answers to these four questions has been a great habit. You too may find this practice valuable in becoming alert and oriented x4.
Also check out the link to "The Daily Examen" by St. Ignatius:http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/how-can-i-pray/
by Rindy Brooks, Heartbeats of Licking County, Newark, Ohio
Our staff retreat in late July focused around 2 Timothy 4:1 – 8 and the need to fulfill our ministry. It is the last recorded letter of Paul as he knew his time of departure was near and he needed to share certain things with Timothy as he passed the torch of ministry.
The study was so timely and personal for us. We had just lost the “Paul” of our pregnancy center. A special lady named Merridy Hoover. She is the reason I and so many are here at Heartbeats of Licking County today. She rescued the center from demise in 1989 and built a solid foundation of faith that we firmly stand on today. Her vision and servant leadership even serves you in Heartbeat affiliates around the world every day.
The prototype for the manual “Talking About Abortion” was written by her – she called it the “10-Point Health and Safety Check List”. She tested it, we trained and used it in our center and found out this “women-centered” approach worked to engage abortion-minded women on the phone to help and care for them. So she called Heartbeat's president, Peggy Hartshorn, and told her this method was working and that it needed to be published by Heartbeat International and distributed.
It was published and still is distributed by Heartbeat. Option Line actually uses this format 24/7 to reach women in crisis. The list of impactful projects Merridy shepherded could continue, but more insightful is to share how she lived up to the end to encourage us to carry on the torch of ministry.
A greeting card came to the center a week after her funeral. It was from her.
We tearfully opened it together at the retreat and what we received from her was our charge. A miracle to us from God, it was the perfect object lesson to illustrate these verses. Merridy “Our Paul” had retired 12 years prior but her prayers and encouragement were steadfast, especially to me, her “Timothy”. I have ably served 12 years as Executive Director and yet for the first time, I felt strangely on my own. And now, in her own hand, written 2 months prior to her passing she says to me, to the staff, and now to you in ministry every day:
“To my beloved sisters and brothers in Christ, His work in you is so beautiful- keep shining with the light of His presence! Keep shining. I am so proud of you all. God’s hand is on your ministry and service to Him.
Love and Blessings, Merridy.”
So let us remember to encourage and teach those “Timothys” in our midst. To clearly charge them and remind them of the suffering and sacrifice in serving Jesus and yet the gladness and joy found in fulfilling our work received from the Lord. I want to be able to pass the torch of ministry and say as in 2 Tim 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Until then, we must carry our torches high and keep shining.
(Staff Retreat material part of Beth Moore’s 3-part DVD series with listening guide “Fulfill Your Ministry!” available from Living Proof Ministries)
by Leslie Malek
Any organization can stumble over the “Smarty-Pants” phenomenon. You may have witnessed this in your pregnancy help organization. Your team gathers to brainstorm. One confident person has a lot to say, speaks forcefully, sounds convincing, and everyone else defers to her passionate solution. This is the solution that will “save the day” – in theory.
In practice, it may be no solution at all. Smarty Pants has lots of ideas but quite possibly doesn’t actually know as much as she thinks she does. The real solutions that the less confident team members offered, or kept to themselves, fell under the imposing weight of Smarty Pants. Confident of intuition but without cause, Smarty Pants doesn’t know that she doesn’t know. A number of studies have explored the smarty-pants effect on groups and found over and over that people defer to information that comes from a confident person but in fact, there is an inverse relationship between confidence and knowledge.
“Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments” by Justin Kruger and David Dunning of Cornell University documents this phenomenon. The authors suggest that overconfident people often lack social and intellectual skill and thereby not only tend to erroneous conclusions and unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it.
More simply put, a lack of knowledge tends to lead a person to greater confidence than is warranted. The over-confidence that Smarty Pants projects leads people to believe that she is actually more knowledgeable than Smarty Pants really is.
At Harvard University, Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons carried out a number of experiments on this topic. In one experiment known as The Invisible Gorilla (now a classic in psychology), two groups, one wearing black and the other wearing white, pass two basketballs around. The viewers are asked to count the number of times the basketball is passed, something that is easy to do. Interestingly, half the viewers completely miss that a gorilla walks through the action and thumps its chest. Even more interesting, according to Simons, is the deep-rooted belief held by most people that they would notice something as out of place as a gorilla at basketball practice. In a survey commissioned by Chabris and Simons, more than 75 percent of a representative sample of American adults “agreed that they would notice such unexpected events, even when they are focused on something else.” Two things stand out from this experiment: people miss a lot of what goes on around them and they often have no idea that they are missing so much. They don't know that they don't know.
Another experiment by Chabris and Simon involved groups of people working together to solve a math problem. Instead of deferring to the person with the greatest math knowledge, the group deferred to the most confident person, regardless of that person’s knowledge. In 94 percent of the cases, each group’s final answer was the first answer suggested, regardless whether it was right or wrong, and it was the most confident person present who offered this answer.
Teams make the most progress when they are able to distinguish between confidence and knowledge. Effective team leaders make sure that everyone has input. The leader does help the group recognize the relationship between opinions and the actual knowledge and experience behind that information and does not just allow the most confident person to sway the result. Great team leaders also know that they do not know everything: that is why great leaders surround themselves with skilled and knowledgeable team members who do know a lot about their area of expertise. The leader and team members must explore what the individuals of the group actually know -- before coming to a conclusion.
A team that defers to confidence instead of knowledge and experience can make some astoundingly bad decisions.
The take away? Pay attention to the opinions of the most self-effacing, best listeners, and weigh the real expertise and knowledge of the most confident members on your team.
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