The following introduction to the Operations Manual was written by Millard Fuller. It speaks so clearly to the purposes of the Manual and the foundational principle of faith by which we seek to operate that we are including it unchanged with this edition. — David Snell
Folks new to the housing movement often ask me, “Where do we start?” The answer is easy.
Get organized and get to work. Newton’s first law of motion says that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. The purpose of a housing movement is, well, movement. To keep your energy and commitment to this ministry from withering on the vine, I want to encourage you to get organized and get to work!
You have joined a growing network of Kingdom builders and I am so grateful for all that you are doing in your community to make simple, decent affordable housing available for God’s people in need. The core work of the Fuller Center occurs in the field at the grass roots level, in communities just like yours, so we are pleased to offer this Operations Manual to help you think through the logistics of growth and opportunities available to you as Covenant Partners.
The Manual contains ideas and guidance for your board of directors, committees and volunteers. We have chosen to offer the Manual in electronic format to help us be good stewards of our donations by saving trees and postage. We encourage your committee members to download the sections of the manual that are important to their particular assignments.
A word of caution: Don’t be tempted to build up treasures and say, “When we have enough money in the bank we’ll get started.” God will join you in this venture of faith. If you don’t have enough volunteers or funds, it is much easier to ask for those things if you have projects underway. If you don’t have enough money to build a whole house, pour some footers… for two houses. Put up a sign announcing your Fuller Center projects and ask for help. Or start several Greater Blessing repair projects. It has been my experience that people respond with overwhelming generosity when asked for help. If your supporters find that their talents are being used in meaningful work and are helping to make a difference in the lives of families who need a hand, they will become long-term donors and volunteers.
The ideas presented in this Manual are the culmination of years of experience. They have served the housing movement well and have evolved into ideas that I believe can make getting started much simpler and faster for you.
So give thanks for what you have, no matter how little it may seem now, and get to work!
In exciting Christian Partnership,
Millard Fuller, Founder and President
Helpful hint: If you want to search for a specific topic in the Operations Manual, search for the word “manual” followed by a “+” sign and then a specific term. For example, if you want to know more about hammers, you would search for “manual+hammers”.