Samaritans Versus Innkeepers

“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.”

Leo Buscaglia

As a leader of people, one of the most important tasks one has is to place the right people in the right seats. For Executive Directors of pregnancy centers and clinics, this can be very challenging. Usually, people who work or volunteer for pregnancy centers and clinics are passionate about the mission and willing to help wherever needed. If people are not working in an area that they are passionate about or best fits their talents and strengths, employee satisfaction and retention will become an issue.

Each individual is unique. However, in a pregnancy center setting, they will usually fall into one of two categories, a “Samaritan” or an “Innkeeper.” In Luke 10, Jesus told the story of the Samaritan and the Innkeeper. A man was stripped and beaten and left half-dead as he was traveling to Jericho. People passed by him but didn’t stop to help. Finally, a Samaritan stopped and cleaned and bandaged his wounds. The Samaritan then took him to an inn where he could receive care. The next day, the Samaritan departed and left the man in the Innkeeper’s care until he recovered. The Samaritan took care of the immediate crisis. The Innkeeper met the man’s long term needs.

When a woman comes into a pregnancy center, she is like the man in crisis. She has immediate needs that must be addressed to for her to move forward. There is critical information and resources that she needs immediately. The Focus Method, taught by The SperaVita Institute, equips centers to handle these immediate needs. Additionally, the woman often needs ongoing care and support to help her move forward beyond her initial visits to a center. She may need discipleship, parenting classes, material goods, etc.

Center Directors need to identify the Samaritans and Innkeepers on their teams and place people in the area of their gifting and greatest effectiveness.

As an Executive Director, I recommend having a way to assess your staff’s giftings and the things they are excited and passionate about doing. Ask yourself: What energizes them? What gives them joy? What do they find most rewarding? Then put them in a position that best suits them. When you do this, you will maximize each individual’s effectiveness, leading to a more effective organization. In the end, this leads to lives saved and transformed.

Why We Must Focus

“Focus on doing the right things instead of a bunch of things.” Mike Krieger

One of the core values we have at the SperaVita Institute is to provide cutting edge training. We strive to give our trained centers the latest information and resources we have available to us as we strive for excellence. We are continually refining our processes, looking at metrics, and making sure that what we offer is “best practice.” However, in our practice of staying current, our focus never changes, which is to serve the right women at the right time, in the most effective way possible.

One of the reasons so many clinics and centers also strive to be “cutting edge” is because they desire to give excellent care that offers an alternative to Planned Parenthood. They feel they must expand services to go toe to toe with what Planned Parenthood says they offer. In striving to be the “Planned Parenthood alternative,”

it is vital that we do not allow ourselves to become distracted by expanding services to the point that we stretch our resources too much and weaken our ability to do the most important thing. We must remember who they are and what their focus is. We must steward our resources in a way that maximizes our effectiveness to become that true alternative. It is vital that we truly become who we hope to be and who we say we are.

Leana Wen, the Director of Planned Parenthood, recently tweeted, “Our core mission is providing, protecting, and expanding access to abortion and reproductive healthcare.” In their recent annual report (2018-2019), Planned Parenthood stated they performed 325,000 abortions. They estimate that this equals 4% of the services they provide, which is an increase from previous years. Planned Parenthood derives this statistic from reporting the number of “services” rather than the number of patients. For example, if a pregnant patient has an abortion, but also receives STD testing, counseling, a pregnancy test, and education while she is there, the abortion accounts for 20% of services during that appointment. The reported percentage is deceptive. According to the CDC and Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood provides between 1/3 to 1/2 of all abortions nationwide. It is evident what their real focus is.

The SperaVita Institute exists to help centers around the country reach their full potential. Just as the “core mission” of Planned Parenthood is to expand abortion and take more lives, ours must be on increasing our capacity to save them. This is the heart of our Focus Method patient process training. This method helps centers to maximize resources, focus on reaching the women at the highest risk for abortion and helping those women choose life for their unborn child. Our vision is to train 250 centers over the next ten years, which we estimate will save over 1 million more lives. Each one of those 1 million lives is of infinite worth, but they will be at risk if we take our eye off of the goal. This is why we must focus.