by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International President
There are very few instances where the label for clothing “one size fits all” is really true. This is because, for people both “size” and “fit” can vary widely amongst the “all!”
The same is true for organizations populated by people serving communities that both have diversity within, but are also different from other communities. An organization is best when it is more like an organism – able to adapt in such a way so as to leverage its greatest strengths in the best way to meet the mission amidst the unique needs of those it serves.
Pregnancy help can take many forms, or methods – from one time visits to extended care to full-on housing – all for our life-affirming mission. Similarly, at the heart of Heartbeat International is our mission to advance pregnancy help. Sometimes, that’s been a hand-in-hand effort actively consulting a steering committee through key milestones toward a fully functioning service location. Many other times, that journey has been guided only through various written materials serving as building blocks toward that same end.
The idea of Built by Design, a manual released in 2017, was to put those two concepts together into a multi-layered resource able to go far beyond the physical limitations of Heartbeat team members.
At Heartbeat International, our approach to pregnancy help is intentionally grassroots. Heartbeat was called into existence by local pregnancy centers and medical clinics when it formed in 1971. Today, maternity homes, medical clinics, adoption agencies and pregnancy resource centers are responding to a local need. What works in New York, New York, won't be the same as what works in Inskip, California – and it's more than just a difference of urban or rural. It's the local culture, the political climate, the fundraising sources.
Those kinds of differences affect everything in a local organization from a name for your center that will communicate a safe place for clients (as well as a worthwhile investment for donors) to the way you recruit volunteers. An organization can sometimes find a way to partner with schools teaching sexual integrity, and build a positive reputation with students who may need them in the future. Or an organization might be called to locate next door to an abortion clinic where a woman will see the pregnancy center in her scariest moments and walk a few more steps for a safer place.
Whatever a pregnancy help organization might be called to do locally, Heartbeat is ready to help. That's why our resources, conferences, and trainings draw from an experienced – and varied – team. And when a Heartbeat team member can't be there every step of the way for a new organization, the resources we've developed can.
In that way, Built by Design, a start-from-scratch guide to starting a pregnancy help organization, seeks to fulfill the key elements of Habakkuk 2:2 (NASB), “Then the LORD answered me and said, 'Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run.'” The vision for Heartbeat is to see more pregnancy help organizations and locations reach more of those in need. We “inscribed” that vision in the form of the various elements and how-to’s in order that those who read it, may run with their own vision of pregnancy help in their community!
This guide doesn’t so much condense the wisdom of all the other Heartbeat resources, as much as it connects them together to serve those with vision for life-affirming work in a God-honoring way. That's why, in addition to making it available alone, Built by Design is the key part to our Pregnancy Help Starter Kit, which includes written resources on everything from volunteer training to fundraising, strong leadership to legal considerations.
The Psalmist (95:1, NASB) describes himself as a “pen in the hand of a ready writer.” Our prayer for this field guide is that it would be found by “ready writers” being used by God to create new opportunities to bring life-affirming ministry to life.
Because one size does not fit all. YOUR community needs YOU, and Heartbeat is here to help.
At the end of Pregnancy Help Institute, we invite our attendees to write a letter to the Board of a pregnancy center who might be trying to decide whether to send staff for training or not. Every year, we are inspired by their reactions to working with other like-minded individuals as they sharpen their skills to continue serving on the front lines of pregnancy help. Here's what a few of our 2017 Pregnancy Help Institute graduates had to say.
Dear Board Member,
If you are looking for one single thing that you can do to grow the ministry that you are a part of, please consider sending your director to Pregnancy Help Institute. I know when the budget is tight it is hard to spend money and allow your director to be out of the office. But it is worth every penny. Equipping your director to do his/her job better is a huge part of Pregnancy Help Institute, but the encouragement they will find there, you cannot put a price tag on.
Sincerely,2017 Pregnancy Help Institute GraduateNew Director Track
If you are considering sending your medical staff for ultrasound training at Pregnancy Help Institute, please do it! It will equip your staff to not only learn/be able to perform basic ultrasound exams, but to give that mother a chance to view LIFE! Not only will they learn the skill of ultrasound, but they will also be encouraged spiritually to effectively help a mother see her unborn. Your staff will leave blessed when they go in, and blessed when they leave (Deuteronomy 28:6).
Sincerely,2017 Pregnancy Help Institute GraduateUltrasound Training Track
What I have discovered is how important it is to take some time away to refresh and rediscover our purpose and energize our soul for the work we do. Being a part of the Pregnancy Help Institute training in development has helped me not only affirm much of what I have been focused on, but also to discover new ways to take our ministry to the next level. Development involves everyone on the team, and I have taken away so many ideas that I can present to our team to help us be the best we can be.
This week, I have been challenged, affirmed, and inspired to take what we do for God to the next level. I can take my skill set and use it for so much good. I have met amazing people who I will keep in touch with and bounce new ideas off of. It is so important to value the resources we have through Heartbeat International and to allow your team to participate so that they are more equipped to serve women and their families and affect generations to come and most importantly, be able to put on the armor of God to do the work we have been called to do. It’s an investment for God.
Sincerely,2017 Pregnancy Help Institute GraduateDevelopment Track
The investment for the heartbeat International training is not only faith-filled, but full of amazing information that can and will be incorporated into our plans for the home. I firmly believe this is something new members, as we add them to our team, need to attend. Not only has it been an amazing and information-filled week, but it has renewed my fire and excitement for our ministry.
Thank you,2017 Pregnancy Help Institute GraduateLeadership Track
Interesting how opposition to our work tends to backfire, isn’t it?
Planned several years in advance for Chicago, Heartbeat International’s 2017 Annual Conference gathered over 1,200 life-affirming leaders in the heart of a state that is leading the way in chilling the conscience rights of its pro-life citizens.
Yes, states like Illinois, California and Hawaii are trying to squelch life-affirming options to abortion through the legislature. But no, their effort doesn’t seem to be having its desired effect.
The largest-ever pregnancy help conference, this year’s four-day event featured a star-studded cast of keynote speakers highlighted by syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, as well as pro-life leaders Anne Pierson, Jill Stanek and Ryan Bomberger.
Dr. William Lyle—a member of Heartbeat’s medical advisory council—also took the stage to tell his tremendous story, and attendees were treated to inspiring appearances on our main stage by the Benham Brothers and comedienne Anita Renfroe.
Add to this year’s keynotes 90 workshops, plus 15 in-depth-day opportunities and worship led by Matt Hammitt, and you start to get a snapshot of a movement that’s adding more momentum every day.
As one attendee said about this year’s conference, “There were no low-lights. Only highlights.”
Whether or not you came to this year’s event, you can download recordings of each keynote and workshop session (here).
And, mark your calendar for April 10-12, 2018, when Heartbeat International’s Annual Conference comes to Anaheim, Calif.
by Jennifer Minor, Editor/Writer
Somewhere between Pregnancy Help Institute and the Heartbeat International Annual Conference every year, there's a training gap. Individuals continue to take courses online at Heartbeat Academy, but that communal learning experience is missing.
That's why Heartbeat International developed ConCERT.
ConCERT is an advanced distance learning course to equip volunteer consultants with the information, skills, and perspectives that take them to the next level for providing effective consultation to individuals making choices in regard to sexual integrity, pregnancy, and parenting.Deb Neybert, MA, LAS says, "As a trainer, I enjoy getting to know the students, and reading their comments posted on our online forum. Often they have great insights to share with each other, and it enhances the learning experience."
Since The LOVE Approach training is a pre-requisite to ConCERT, students interact with peers that have had similar experiences. According to Neybert, "Students say the most exciting part of ConCERT is the practical application as they have the opportunity to respond to verbatim assignments and the on-line forum communication."
Besides all of these benefits, by the end of ConCERT, students earn 14 CEU's toward the Life Affirming Specialist Designation. That's enough to apply for or renew your LAS!
Tweet this! The next session of ConCERT begins on January 11, 2015, and registration is open now.
The next session of ConCERT begins on January 11, 2015, and registration is open now. Information on pricing, registration, and other important dates can be found here.
Learn more and sign up today!
by Jay Hobbs, Communications and Marketing Director
When leadership is discussed as a topic unto itself, most experts tend to zero in on models, theories, and examples.
How frequently should my team meet? How strictly should the Board abide by Robert's Rules of Order?
Should my title be Director? Executive Director? Grand Pooba?
As you may have guessed, the idea of sitting through an extended meeting to focus on these burning topics wasn't exactly on my Can't-Wait-To-Do List.
My fears were dispelled about 30 seconds into the Leadership track of this year's Heartbeat's Institute for Center Effectiveness.
Instead of wrangling about which leadership strategy has which benefits or holes in it, our facilitator, John Rue of Built to Lead, went straight to the heart when the starting gun fired.
John's point, from start to finish, was that, if we are ever going to lead—or even live—with freedom and conviction, the question of "Who" we are needs to be settled and fanned into flame.
Am I primarily a director? A leader? A pastor? A husband? A dad?
If so, I'm going to face an uphill climb any time any of those identities are threatened. Bad day at work? That's an assault on my primary identity as a director. Bad day at home? That's an assault on my primary identity as a husband and dad.
The biblical shorthand for all of this is idolatry. It's dethroning God and setting up something in His place. When we do that with our work, family, friends, or anything else, we're cutting ourselves off from our true identity: Believer, Son, Friend of God, Sheep. Not only that, but we're putting an astronomical burden on something (or someone) who was never intended to bear the weight of the universe.
That was the starting point for the week, where we focused on finding not "balance," but alignment between who we are and what we do. This is where our core identity aligns with our passion, and where work becomes a joyful outflow.
What's your primary identity? What are you passionate about? Do they line up? Maybe next year's Heartbeat's Institute for Center Effectiveness is a great place to find out.
As spring turned to summer, it was time for the annual Pan-African Conference, hosted by Association for Life of Africa (AFLA). This year's event was held in Livingstone, Zambia—a fitting place for trail-blazing missionaries to meet.
Heartbeat International was on site, standing alongside our brothers and sisters for life in every corner of the globe.
This year's conference, "Breaking New Grounds in the Kingdom of God," included missionaries for life from 12 countries and was keynoted by former Heartbeat International board member, Rev. John Tabor.
The represented countries were Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Ecuador, Brazil, and the U.S.
"It's an exciting time for AFLA as we continue to grow and adapt," AFLA President Barbra Nalavwe Mwanza said to open the five-day conference. "We must remain always adaptable, motivated, responsive, and client-focused."
Topics of focus for the conference included, "Where is the Church and the Theology of Life?", "Abortion in Africa," "Counseling Toolbox," "Healing the Wounds," "The Boardmanship," "How to Start a Centre," Natural Family Planning, Sexual Integrity, and Fundraising. But Africa, as Barbra pointed out to lead off the conference, could not hope to solve these problems without addressing the underlying life-and-death issue of the sanctity of human life.
Heartbeat International Director of Marketing and Communications Debora R. Myles brought her expertise to the conference, presenting a keynote entitled, "The ABCs of Marketing with Emphasis on Websites," and a workshop called "Fundraising Essentials."
In addition to Myles and Rev. Tabor, Lorraine Gariboldi, author and founding member of Heartbeat International affiliate Life Center of Long Island, spoke at the event, drawing from her leadership experience in a three-location setting.
Find out more about Heartbeat's International partners here.
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The 2022 Heartbeat International Annual Conference was a record-breaking event for us! With more attendees than ever, we're pressing ONWARD to make abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations. Remember, if you attended the 2022 Conference, you have access to the Virtual Conference Workshops until April 12 (for virtual attendees) or April 23 (for in-person attendees). Those recordings, as well as content from the In-Person Experience are available for purchase so you can have them even after the extended access ends! Just click here for the order form.
Heartbeat’s Annual Conference is designed for ministry leaders, staff, board members, and volunteers of life-affirming pregnancy help centers, medical clinics, maternity homes, and non-profit adoption agencies, as well as professionals in the areas of medicine, counseling, social work, and education.
Our conference offers the most dynamic training to equip ministers and empower ministries worldwide in the pregnancy help community through the largest international Pregnancy Help Conference, this year both in-person and online! There will be plenty to learn in this new format with the following trainings available:
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If you are interested in having your organization highlighted at the conference, Conference Sponsorship is a good option for you. Click here to learn more.
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We love hearing from you in the pregnancy help medical community.
Here's a sampling of what attendees said about the 2014 Heartbeat International Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. The Conference featured 78 workshops, including six each in the Medical Matters and Ultrasound Advancement tracks, in addition to two medically focused in-depth all-day workshop sessions and a special keynote from John Bruchalski, M.D., founder of Tepeyac Family Center & Divine Mercy Center.
1. "I feel much more confident after these workshops and webinars. Thank you!"Jo-Ellen O'Keefe, Pregnancy Help and Information Center (Ectopic Pregnancy, Audrey Stout RDMS)
2. "Very interesting and groundbreaking information – this will change things!"Reagan Nielson, Vitae Foundation (Update on Abortion Pill Reversal, Dr. Delgado)
3. "Dr. Delgado's presentation was so very exciting! It was interest peaking, informative and empowering. I'm grateful for his work and research regarding the APR. (Abortion Pill Reversal)"Jamie Koser, Heartline Pregnancy Center (Update on Abortion Pill Reversal, Dr. Delgado)
4. "Very creative teaching! Lots of light bulbs went off!"Cheryl Didrekson, Kimberly Home, Inc. (Flipping Uterus, Roxanne Ertel RDMS)
5. Amazing presentation! I have been scanning for 12 years and finally understood the anatomy of the uterus on U/S! Thank you!"Jennifer Snowden, New Beginnings Women's Center (Flipping Uterus, Roxanne Ertel RDMS)
6. "Super excellent."Katherine Niemiec, Family Life Services Clinic and Pregnancy Center (Flipping Uterus, Roxanne Ertel RDMS)
7. "Thank you! This was the most enlightening session of the week and worth the entire trip to learn these nuggets." Patti White, New Beginnings (Flipping Uterus, Roxanne Ertel RDMS)
Thinking of conserving power this summer?
Well maybe it’s time to think again.
This summer, Heartbeat International is partnering with the National Maternity Housing Coalition to pilot six highly interactive strategy sessions we like to call “Power Conversations.”
Short, sweet, and packing a punch, these 30-minute conversations are a perfect environment for maternity housing leaders at all stages of development and experience.
Here’s what to expect from Power Conversations this summer:
All sessions start at 2 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time)
Call-in Number: (559) 726-1300Participant Access Code: 705126
Close to 1,000 registrants, exhibitors, speakers and guests were on site in Charleston, South Carolina for the event, which was kick-started by a rousing performance from Charleston’s own Plantation Singers, who serenaded attendees gathering for the first general session of the conference Wednesday afternoon.
Included in the conference were representatives from 17 countries outside the United States, several of whom traveled back with Heartbeat staff to Heartbeat headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, for an additional week of training and encouragement following the conference.
“It was wonderful to be with other warriors in this pro-life movement,” one attendee said. “As this was my first experience at a conference, I was so excited with what happens in PRCs around the country and the world! What a joy it was to assist someone else with new ideas to make her center better.”
While opportunities to connect and fellowship with pregnancy help servants around the world abounded, so did opportunities to hear from the roster of excellent keynote and workshop speakers, who emphasized over and over the theme that Love is Our Language.
The workshop slate was made up of an all-time high 78 sessions divided into 13 tracks—not including 10 all-day in-depth day opportunities—equipping leaders to better serve women and families in locales the world over.
Headlined by noted Christian apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias, keynotes were also delivered by:
Thank you so much for making this year’s conference truly special, and please don’t miss the opportunity to join us April 7-10, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri for next year’s conference.
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