Keeping Faith: How Christian Organisations can stay true to the way of Jesus
Stephen Judd, John Swinton, Kara Martin
Acorn Press, 2023
Reviewed by Stephen Hale
This recently published book is an excellent resource for any who lead or serve on the Board of a Christian not for profit organisation or entity. The book is only 140 pages, but it is remarkably comprehensive and covers most of the ground you would want it to cover.
We all know of the organisations that started off Christian and are now very distant from the founding vision. So how do we ensure that doesn’t happen again? And even if you want to remain Christian, what does that mean and how do you make it a reality. None of these are easy questions to answer and the authors offer a very healthy perspective on what this might mean. This is especially important in the Australian context where a surprisingly large percentage of children go to faith-based schools and much of the welfare that governments fund is delivered by faith based organisations.
If you’re a Board member at some point you will be dealing with most of the issues covered in the book. At some point you with have to appoint a CEO and that will have significant on-going implications for the values of the organisation and whether it can stay true to the way of Jesus. A good friend of mine had a key role in a large health organisation which had thousands of staff. She worked with the Board to ensure that there was annual training for all staff (most of whom were not church goers) to enable alignment between their values and their practices. The outcomes were remarkable.
I strongly commend this book. It should be read and studied by all Board members as well key staff teams. It is a very useful resource to think thorough the hard questions that will enable the organisation to stay true to the way of Jesus. The book is thoughtful and challenging but also remarkably practical.
Bishop Stephen Hale is the Acting Vicar of St Mark’s Camberwell and Chair of EFAC Australia and EFAC Global