Wess Speaks (Part V)

We recently gave you the opportunity ask our president, Wess, any questions you like. We’re publishing his transcribed answers one day at a time.

  • Do you have any personal goals or goals for the organization that you care to share? (Lisa Miles)
  1. First, I want to see Compassion double in size in the next six years. Based on our recent growth, I believe it is pretty safe to predict that this organization will move from 1 million children to 2 million children in the course of the next six years.
  2. Second, I want our Leadership Development Program, which I think is pure gold, to grow from our current count of 1,800 university students to 10,000 university students before I go. We already have that many qualified students, but we just need the money to put them through college.
  3. Third, I want the alumni associations to expand. If we were to gather Compassion’s kids together, there would be standing room only in the biggest stadiums, and I can’t wait for the day when we actually do that! Everybody in the stadium would be a Compassion child or a Compassion graduate worshiping together. I would love to have that in place in the near future.
  4. Fourth, I want to wisely choose my successor. We have great leaders in this ministry and when the time is right I want to get out of the way and let the next generation lead. I need God to orchestrate this and direct me to that person.
  5. Lastly, I want to finish well. When my time serving Compassion is finally done, I want to walk out of here a man of God, overjoyed but humbled. I am deeply passionate about walking closely with my Lord in such a way that when the time comes I will leave this place “well.”

5 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Mike Stephens March 28, 2009


    I love how you said “finish well” it reminds me of triathlons b/c that is what I enjoy doing!!! A quick explanation:

    The triathlon has only been in the Olympics since Sydney in 2000. The winner was Simon Whitfield from Canada in an amazing come from behind sprint finish!!!

    In 2004 in Athens I did not see the finish but Hamish Carter won from New Zealand a longtime triathlete who was ranked #1 in 2000.

    But in 2008 again an amazing sprint finish, but Jan Frodeno of Germany won outsprinting Simon Whitfield!!! So I was just thinking when you said finish well of them sprinting to the finish line!!! That may not be the best technique b/c once they crossed the line they were quite spent. They ran their race careful and trained careful so they could make the Olympics and have enough to be with the lead runners and sprint to the end!!! They weren’t sprinting the whole way!!! When I was younger my parents sponsored through Compassion and it is amazing to see all that Compassion does now that I am older and can learn more myself. Thanks for answering all the questions!!! It is enlightening and inspiring!!!

  2. Wess Stafford June 9, 2008

    You probably noticed in my earlier comments that I mentioned my desire to “finish well” when the time comes for me to retire. This is something that has been on my heart and mind quite a lot lately, not necessarily because I’m eager to retire but because I understand the importance of having a good succession plan in place.

    Our former president, Wally Erickson, did a wonderful job of mentoring me and preparing me to lead Compassion’s ministry and I want to have a good plan in place for my successor as well.

    I believe that in order to have success in the transition of leadership, an organization must have a good succession plan. There is not yet a firm timeline or plan in place for choosing my successor… aside from my prayers for God’s direction in this important decision!

    However, based on my age it’s only logical that I start thinking in that direction in order to eventually hand over the reigns of leadership successfully. I hope that you’ll join your prayers with mine in this. I’m confident the Lord knows who will lead Compassion’s next generation and I want to be sensitive to His timing and leading in that very important decision.

  3. Britney June 1, 2008

    Wes, you mentioned the end of your time serving Compassion several times in this post. As a follow up question, is there a time line for choosing your successor and handing over your role as president?

  4. Kees Boer June 1, 2008

    Wow, Can you imagine a stadium full of sponsored children, grown up! What a testimony. I think of the verse: “Hereby shall they know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another.” I’d love to be at that stadium.


  5. Vicki Small June 1, 2008

    Two million children in six years? Wow. I suspect another “tsunami” of applicants to the Advocates Network may be ahead! We knew God had something in mind, when He doubled the Network (in the past 8 months), didn’t we?

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