An Interview With The New ARP Foundation Director
By Delores McDonald
I recently sat down with Steve Nichols, the newly-hired ARP Foundation director. Introductions aside, I set out to find out what he hopes to accomplish in his new job – and how he intends to use this position to build the Kingdom.
Q: What is your role as director of gift planning for the ARP Foundation?
A: I see it as an ambassadorial role with agencies, churches and membership – working to leverage and build assets managed through the Foundation. This will be accomplished by finding, educating, challenging and serving donors.
Q: Why is this important?
A: This is important because it opens the possibility for stability for our ministries/agencies/churches. I do want to make it clear that I was not hired because we are trying to raise money for centralized projects. I will try to determine where God is moving within the denomination and support it.
Q: What qualifies you for the job of Foundation director?
A: It has been apparent that the Lord has uniquely created this opportunity for me to be involved in the development process with the Foundation. My skills, experience, time of life and ministry mindset align uniquely with needs and opportunity with the ARP Foundation.
Q: How will this involve our churches?
A: This presents the opportunity to both preserve the autonomy of integrity and individuality of our churches in what they are doing, and build managed assets to accomplish their goals through Foundation services.
Q: What is your ultimate goal?
A: In a word, biblical stewardship. Inadequate or inconsistent funding are top reasons for failure in mission efforts: Ten years of staff work can be wiped out in one bad year of funding. Notwithstanding God’s provision, predictable funding allows better planning and stewardship of resources, instills confidence in the staff, and encourages forward thinking for new possibilities.
Q: What donor level are you seeking?
A: All levels. Any donor level is important – from individual donors who give to specific agencies to major donors who have managed funds.
Q: To what extent will you work with the leadership of the ARPC?
A: Extensively. I believe leadership sets the tone for giving. The core focus is to engage potential leadership-level donors, facilitate the discovery of what’s important to them, and creatively translate their desires into strategic gifts to resource programs/projects consistent with Gospel values and administered by the ARP Foundation.
Q: What is your vision?
A: Seeing this as a strategic position to the entire denomination, I believe there are significant potential assets for the Kingdom, which could change the direction of the ARPC and create sustained resources in supporting its ministries for generations to come. These assets have been untapped, primarily for lack of someone who simply would focus on asking.
Q: What would you like to say to donors you will call on in the days to come?
A: I will be focused on gathering information. As an “outsider” (not a member of the ARPC), I would like the agencies and churches to know that I have no agenda, except (first and foremost), to build the Kingdom.
Q: What is the bottom line?
A: To bring awareness to the ARPC that the ARP Foundation is alive and well and open for business to serve and catalyze top stewardship. True philanthropy alone glorifies God. It is an act of worship and a highly concrete expression of faith.
Read more about Steve Nichols and his role as ARP Foundation director in the Sept/Oct issue of the ARP Magazine. To subscribe, go to arpmagazine.org or call 864-232-8441.
Wizards, Vampires and Werewolves?
Dear Church Youth Director,
We cherish the youth of the ARPC and want to fill a void for our teens, who are looking for articles that hold more substance than wizards, vampires and werewolves. Are our teens actually interested in fantasy, or are they looking for a message?
Many teens today are struggling with relationships. Others wonder how to connect with other teens. There’s a long list of topics that may be of interest to teens who are trying to keep up with today’s technology as well as their social lives – and somewhere in all of it find God’s plan for their lives.
Please ask your youth group what subjects interest them and email the list to me. We will use the topics we receive to write articles for an upcoming “teen page” in the ARP Magazine. If you or a teen in your church would like to contribute an article, please let me know by email.
Please help us reach the next generation with God’s Word, not vampires and werewolves. Thank you for your support.
In His Service,
Editor, ARP Magazine