US Programs Blog

by Kirk Lyman-Barner, Director
US Field Operations

Part II - Memphis

by Kirk Lyman-Barner, Director
US Field Operations

Part I Tupelo, Mississippi

This past weekend, my wife Cori and I had the pleasure of being invited to visit Tupelo, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee.


The Fuller Center has made its storytelling its stock-in-trade.  Those of you on Facebook know that I’m studying digital photography so I can personally improve on my own storytelling.  I really enjoy the craft and have found an author and teacher named Chris Orwig who has a book called Visual Poetry-A Creative Guide for Making Engaging Digital Photographs.


One of his commentaries caught my eye.  In response to a student’s challenge about success simply requiring positive thinking, he took issue with her romanticism.    He shared the story of some surfer wannabes who found themselves in the mountains.  Lacking surf, they created what we now know as snowboarding which has become a huge industry, pastime and even an Olympic sport.  He commented that the story is reminiscent of the old parable that divides people into two categories.

Recently, I had a phone conversation with the president of a nonprofit and he said, “Kirk we need a new board of directors.” 

I asked him to tell me about their current board. He said they were enthusiastic and supportive during their meetings, but they were not helping out with  development. He then explained that he asked them to go to a board training workshop sponsored by a leading nonprofit.   They all enjoyed it immensely and reported they learned a lot but they didn’t do anything different after the training.

This was a classic case of what we call in the sales industry of “call reluctance.” 

Fuller Center board members are charged with the task of recruiting donors, volunteers and filling board and committees who are the hands and feet of our housing ministry. As our President David Snell likes to say, “This is a righteous undertaking.” We represent the compassion of Christ for people in need of decent shelter.