A Smart Risk

Shaun Groves wrote this post. It’s been approved by the powers-that-be.

About Shaun Groves

Be careful going around having ideas and talking about them. You might just get put to work. That’s what happened to me.

About a year ago, I think it was, I started talking to the folks at Compassion about a crazy new idea. I wondered if they could spread the word about their ministry to children through bloggers the way the Compassion message has been spread through artists and speakers for decades. I proposed Compassion take bloggers on a trip to see the ministry for themselves and, of course, ask them to blog about what they see.

When the powers-that-be decided the idea was worth trying out, a small team went to work finding the right bloggers to travel to Uganda. Then we took a very long flight to Africa together back in February, deplaned and played with children, and learned about the needs of Ugandans and how Compassion and sponsors are partnering to meet them. And we blogged. With very slow connection speeds, we blogged.

We posted pictures, stories, videos and lots of links to compassion.com. Thousands read along daily. Hundreds of children were released from poverty and hundreds of Americans were released from wealth as a result. And the Web lit up with applause.

My favorite online compliment came from a fund-raising expert who wrote:

“Looked at with old economy eyes, Compassion is taking a huge risk, letting go of its marketing to 15 different near-strangers who might do anything. Looked at with modern eyes, Compassion is smart: willing to give up control in favor of being talked about by real people.”

In other words, some institutions would call this kind of idea crazy but it worked: People are talking about children, about loving them, about perspective and grace and kindness and Jesus.

Now, when I’m not singing or speaking (or blogging), I’m working part time these days for Compassion – developing more and better relationships with bloggers.

We just launched CompassionBloggers.com where anyone can read the best posts from our blogging trips, and where bloggers can go to grab widgets and banners, apply to go on a blogging trip with us, or sign up to receive a monthly blogging assignment from Compassion.

Our ranks are growing. There are now a few hundred bloggers scattered around the world blogging on behalf of Compassion every month.

What’s next? We’re taking a bunch of bloggers to the Dominican Republic Nov. 2-7, so read along that week and pray that we assemble the right gifted team for the trip, that we’re safe and healthy while overseas, that readers are inspired and mobilized to act, and that the blogosphere is filled with talk of children and Jesus once again.

5 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Jill June 16, 2008

    This is awesome! I just sent my info into…can’t wait to hear more!

  2. Chris Giovagnoni June 16, 2008

    Shaun will be sending one out very soon

  3. Monica June 16, 2008

    have any assignments gone out yet to the email list? I’m sure I signed on for this, but have yet to receive anything.

  4. Amy at Jonathan’s Journey June 14, 2008

    I love that you’ve included bloggers in your ministry! My family may not be able to sponsor lots of children, and I’m not a blogger who can go on a trip at this point, but I can encourage my blog readers to get involved by raising awareness about Compassion. Thank you for involving us!

  5. Rebecca June 14, 2008

    Perfect idea. Brilliant. I followed the Ugandan trip and would someday love to serve on a trip. Just signed up for my Compassion assignments.

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