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Need vs. Potential

I spent most of my day in a trustee meeting for the Des Plaines Charitable Trust. I love our meetings because all we do is give grants. Is there anything more fun than giving away money? And I know our grants are miracles for those who receive them. And that seed money can yield remarkable fruit.

Here is one of the tensions I feel when considering grants: needs vs. potential. There is a natural tendency to give based on need, but sometimes the best investment isn’t dictated by need. It’s dictated by potential. You want to invest where there is the greatest return on investment. And that isn’t always the greatest need. That is a difficult tension to manage, but an important distinction to be aware of. I think we feel the same tension when it comes to our missions giving for National Community Church too. I honestly think you give to both needs and potential, but too often we’re blind to potential because we’re so focused on needs.

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Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., a multi-site church and a leading fellowship in the nation’s capital. Meeting in movie theaters and Metro stops throughout the D.C. area, NCC is attended by more than 70 percent single twenty-somethings. Mark’s weekly podcast is one of the fastest growing in America. His book, In A Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars peaked at #44 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list. He has just released his newest book entitled, Wild Goose Chase: Reclaiming the Adventure of Pursuing God. He and his wife Lora live on Capitol Hill. They have three children.