Last week, we posted our first takeaway from the Ice Bucket Challenge. We discussed how much it can teach us about calling other people to make an impact.
Here’s our second “Challenge”-related thought for “cause-minded” Christians:
“Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.” Proverbs 19:2 (NLT)
One of the blessings and the curses of social media is how rapidly things spread. In a case like the recent Ice Bucket Challenge, where a “challenge” was posted and the “challenged ones” had a 24-hour deadline to respond, it was easy for any of us to get caught up in the moment… and jump in, respond, and forward the “challenge” to others without stopping to consider the ends.
But I wonder how many people asked: Am I sure I’m OK with the organization that is on the receiving end of all this attention?
The fact is, this little “challenge” has resulted in a huge amount of funding toward the cause. (Reports have indicated that the ALS Association gained more than 1 million new donors and received over $100 million in donations.) Beyond the immediate rush of funds, think about the leverage that this organization will have moving forward with a million new people added to its distribution lists.
But as discerning Christians, we have to ask whether we are OK leveraging our influence with friends and family to direct folks to the organization on the receiving end. Have we researched the organization enough to make a wise decision? For instance, some criticism has been leveled against the ALS Association because of their use of funds for embryonic stem cell research – which involves the destruction of human embryos. (Read here for a longer discussion of various concerns about the Ice Bucket Challenge.)
But this question is simply meant to highlight another takeway here for anyone who cares about making an impact: We should always be sure to press pause, undertake some “due diligence” on the issues/organizations that we’re sharing with our networks, and consider whether we really want to leverage our influence for a particular organization that is on the receiving end of the increased engagement.
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