Thursday, 06 May 2021
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2020: What we learned and why it matters Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

2020: What we learned and why it matters

As we reach the end of what we can judiciously call an “interesting” year, we can choose one of two options.

One option? Simply thank God 2020 is almost over and pray 2021 is better for all of us. 

Option two? Let’s value what we learned in 2020 and apply every lesson toward a breakout year in 2021. 

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Let’s choose the second option, because we may look back on 2020—tremendously challenging and even tragic for many of us—and find we learned new ways to grow and build our organizations and ministries.  

Let’s consider three ways: 

1) We learned to re-imagine 

This term caught fire with me when the leadership at Heartbeat International was forced to rethink our conference in April, moving from an in-person event in Seattle to a virtual, world-wide conference. In less than two weeks, I watched a looming disaster turn into an amazing opportunity to pull the pregnancy help community together. 

Throughout the changeover process, I heard the word, “Re-Imagine.” It kept the team on focus and energized. It worked.

Throughout 2020, the entire pregnancy help community learned to re-imagine its services, its delivery and its outreach. We became more prominent in our communities by providing resources outside of our normal clientele. Offerings such as Bright Course allowed us to serve clients virtually. 

Tweet This: Throughout 2020 the entire pregnancy help community learned to re-imagine its services, delivery & outreach-serving outside normal clientele

As we launch 2021, many of us are finding ways to use what we learned beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and these new approaches will serve us well in 2021.

2) We learned—once again--politics is not our jam

Thank God for those who serve well in the political realm, standing for life. But in 2020, we learned not to get caught up in the day-to-day of political polling, nail-biting over election results and most important, we learned not to depend on political outcomes for our well-being.

For four years, we’ve had an administration open to, and supportive of our efforts. Yet unless something drastically changes, the next four years will be the polar opposite. We can gnash our teeth over these developments or choose to stay focused on the mission. 

In 2021, we must continue to educate our supporters on the simple fact that if we want a pro-life world, this is best achieved through our work of loving those who need our help, offering hope to each one.  

Tweet This: We must keep educating supporters that if we want a pro-life world, it's best achieved through our work of loving those who need our help.

Simply put, strengthening pregnancy help organizations = shifting society toward a life-affirming view. And though this is not our mission, doing our job well can lead to long-term political change.

The process of changing our culture begins then, not in the halls of Congress but within the walls of our organizations. Period. 

3) We learned “Can’t” is a 4-letter word 

Economically, 2020 was a challenge. But many pregnancy help organizations found ways to thrive financially, in spite of the odds. The common denominator found in those which made it? Instead of focusing on the problem, winning ministries kept looking for solutions.

In short, these ministries eliminated “Can’t” from the vocabulary. 

But positive thinking is not enough. Finding our way through often means doing the uncomfortable, such as reaching out personally to supporters and focusing on revenue streams we neglected when times were good. 

What does this mean for 2021? If we’ve found solutions in 2020, we can use this knowledge to build support to an even greater level in the year to come. If we’ve struggled, the lessons learned will enhance our ability to move out of our comfort zones in the next twelve months. 

2021 Is almost here. And with the New Year comes new challenges. But new opportunities, new ideas and new hope are also on the horizon. Let’s take advantage of all three.

Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau. His new Faith Revolution Podcast is online at www.kirkwalden.com

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