ADDENDUM as of 2/5/09: While I am still excited about the materials I discuss in this post, it is with great sadness that I feel compelled to note I have discovered there are reasons for caution with respect to the sources referenced herein. With respect to Vision Forum Ministries, I call your attention to the series of articles at Ministry Watchman and Jen’s Gems. And with respect to Geoff Botkin, see Who is Geoffrey Botkin? at the Under Much Grace blog.
[Continued discussion of Vision Forum Ministries' program titled The 200 Year Plan: A Practicum on Multi-Generational Faithfulness.]
Sadly, the Vision Forum CD set I purchased provides a sanitized (indeed, in my opinion, overly-sanitized–to the point of being useless) PDF view of the spreadsheet Mr. Botkin showed his audience as he discussed how he built his family’s 200-year plan. (The spreadsheet displayed in the CD shows no headings, no titles, no data at all. It consists, solely, of a grid with a few of the rows and columns colored in. Period. That’s it!)
After persistent attempts to get the company to provide me an example of what Mr. Botkin’s original audience saw, a member of their customer service department wrote back, “The slides originally contained personal information which has since been removed at the request of the speaker. I apologize for any inconvenience that you have experienced and I am sorry that I am currently unable to help you further in this area.”
To their credit, they offered me a refund for the entire CD because this one set of PDFs wasn’t up to par with what I would have hoped for. But I wanted the information more than a refund! So I attempted to contact Mr. Botkin directly in order to acquire a readable example of the spreadsheet and at least an exemplary sample of the data he had developed for his family’s 200-year plan. I was thrilled when he graciously provided what I asked for. I am only now beginning to work through the implications of what he showed me.
Rather than burdening you here with a full rundown of what Botkin sent me; indeed, considering how little I think I really understand the plan, I am numbering this post as #1 in a series. I have no idea how many more posts will come nor how quickly. But let me at least begin working through with you where I am going with our family’s 200-year plan.*****
Perhaps the first and foremost most important feature of creating a 200-year plan as I’m urging, here: it creates a sense of time
Botkin says he first acquired his own “long view” sense of time when he was a young man and Read the rest of this entry »