Magazines 2017 Nov - Dec Question & Answer: With Jim Collins

Question & Answer: With Jim Collins

29 November 2017

Canadians Feeding The World

What’s at the heart of the mission of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank?

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is rooted in the belief that humankind is created in the image of God, and that it is God’s desire that no person should go hungry. Our vision is a world without hunger, and that we as Christians have been called to love, reach out to and support those who are hungry.

What role does the Canadian Foodgrains Bank play in the Canadian Church?

Our primary role is to help mobilize resources from Canadians, the Canadian government and other donors to support the hunger programming of our member churches and their agencies and partners in developing countries. We mobilize significant resources from farming, rural communities, businesses and congregations across Canada, which are then leveraged with funding from the Government of Canada.

We also engage Canadian Christians around issues of hunger and poverty, and develop and disseminate worship and education resources on hunger for use in the Church. And finally we advocate on behalf of those who are hungry and poor to governments and international bodies.

Canadian Foodgrains Bank brings different groups together. What have you learned about the art of reaching a common goal in ministry with different players?

We focus on those things that we can agree on and leave aside those things where we disagree. It is easy to get distracted by the issues around which you disagree. Fortunately, our Scriptures and the words of Jesus are relatively clear about our obligations to those who are hungry, and we can all agree on this. We still, quite legitimately, debate the best strategies.

What is the leadership advice you give to younger leaders?

Be persistent and steadfast. Know where you want to go, and don’t get frustrated if you can’t get there quickly. Substantial and long-lasting change is often incremental, and it may take years to achieve. You may even need to take a few detours. Revolution is overrated.

What is the best leadership book you read recently, or often recommend?

The lessons from Jim Collins’ book Great by Choice (Harper Business, 2011) on how to thrive in uncertain and chaotic times have stayed with me, and it is a book that I often recommend. The need for disciplined action, experimentation before major investments, and having a degree of productive paranoia (although I am not always sure how I square this with my faith).