It’s been an incredible six years of seeing bloggers become friends and passionate advocates for children. Together, we’ve laughed and ugly-cried our way around the world. We’ve survived bat swarms and monkey ambushes. And our words have released 7,526 children from poverty in Jesus’ name! I will always treasure my time as the leader of Compassion Bloggers. But it’s someone else’s turn to lead us from here.
I’ve stepped down and handed the reins to my friend Brianne McKoy.
Compassion Bloggers is evolving. There are dreams to empower more bloggers, to inspire and equip in new ways, to be an even more effective and creative voice for children living in poverty. As these dreams took shape it became clear to me that I’m not the guy to make them a reality for three reasons.
First, meeting the challenges ahead is too difficult and too important to be accomplished by a part-time employee. We’ve done all we can do with my ten hours each week – and it’s not enough. Because my opportunities to speak on behalf of Compassion have increased, I simply don’t have the capacity to do more for Compassion Bloggers. Our bloggers deserve someone’s undivided attention.
Second, I not only lack the time necessary to lead us into the future, I lack the skills essential to do what must be done next. To break out of the mold of our own creation, Compassion Bloggers needs a leader with fresh perspective, a better understanding of current trends in social media, and the courage to take risks and try new things.
Lastly, I love people but I can’t love 3,000 bloggers as well as they deserve. More often than not, I focus my limited hours on the tasks that have to get done to get the next trip launched, the next child sponsored, to meet the goals I’m measured by…and I neglect to write that thank you note, to celebrate that book release, to mourn that loss. I truly regret the hundreds of opportunities I’ve missed to demonstrate my gratitude, admiration and love for our bloggers. My successor will do better – she already does.
I know where we should be in five years but, truthfully, I can’t get us there. We’ve gone as far as we can with my ability and limited time.
No Success Without Succession
There is no success without succession. Compassion’s last president, Wess Stafford, taught me that and modeled it well. If a leader steps down and the organization crumbles then it was built on personality and little else.
Compassion Bloggers will continue to thrive because we have put in place clear purpose, priorities and processes. And now we have a leader in Brianne who has the time and ability to build upon these.
Back in 2007 Brianne told her husband that her dream job would be working with bloggers in some kind of ministry. “But that doesn’t even exist,” she laughed back then. Now she’ll be serving bloggers ministering to children living in poverty. I believe I was called to create Compassion Bloggers so that Brianne could fulfill her calling someday…today.
She will answer to Brianne but her friends call her Bri. And so everyone calls her Bri because her welcoming smile and easy laugh make everyone feel like a dear friend. As I overheard someone at Allume say to her, “You are the nicest person God has ever made.” That just might be true.
Bri also has international ministry experience, having served women in sex trafficking in Indonesia before coming to Compassion. In her six years at Compassion she’s accrued an encyclopedic knowledge of Compassion’s work around the world. She can articulate that knowledge clearly as well. No question can stump her.
She’s not only an effective teacher but an empowering coach as well. I’ve seen her counsel a blogger out of despair and into hope, helping that writer regain confidence and find the words that release children from poverty. Bri freely gives hope, acceptance, encouragement, and wisdom to others.
Brianne is an active blogger and has a better grasp than I do on current trends in blogging and social media in general. She’s also – you may have noticed – a woman. She thinks so much more intuitively than I can about how to best serve other women, how to build community with them, to inspire and encourage them in their efforts to release children from poverty.
But the thing that has most impressed me about Bri over the years is her dependence upon God. More than once, she has paused a problem-solving conference call to lead our team in prayer. Bri prays first and prays often, knowing that apart from Christ she can do nothing. This reliance upon God makes her a calming confident presence in a storm…or when we missed a flight home from Uganda.
I couldn’t be more confident in Brianne’s ability to lead the innovation that is coming and to serve every Compassion blogger well.
This is not good-bye, friends. I’m simply moving out of leadership. I’ll be serving Bri any way I can, cheering her every step. I’m her biggest fan and can’t wait to see what God does through her…through all of you.