After more than six years working from his home as a curriculum writer for Third Millennium ministries, Norlan now also will perform public relations responsibilities in the United States for Word & Deed Ministries. The arrangement joins “deed” employment with his “word” work.
God clearly prepared all parties for this unique cooperation. Before Norlan became involved with Third Millennium, he had communicated with Word & Deed regarding any possible public relations openings. There wasn’t one at that time, but Word & Deed contacted him later—after he’d begun working for Third Millennium—and he wasn’t available. In recent years, Norlan has spent an increasing amount of time raising funds, which resulted in less time writing.
“A few months ago, I decided to look for part-time work to help supplement my income,” he told Christian Renewal. “I was hoping to find work with another Reformed ministry that had an international focus. At about the same time, Word & Deed began advertising for part-time help with their public relations functions. I contacted Word & Deed, and it seemed like a natural fit.”
When Rick Postma, Word & Deed’s Director of Public Relations, traveled to Northwest Iowa a few months ago, he and Norlan had an opportunity to sit down together and discuss options.
“We both agreed that the work of Third Millennium and the work of Word & Deed fit well together,” Norlan says. “We just had to find a creative way to work out the details.”
The biggest question during their discussions revolved around how De Groot could raise support for two organizations without confusing people.
“Word & Deed came up with a unique solution,” he says. “Since the work of Third Millennium fits well within the mission of Word & Deed, Word & Deed made my work with Third Millennium one of the many projects it supports. Word & Deed then offered me a full-time position in ‘Public Relations & Projects’ that includes writing for Third Millennium and doing public relations work for Word & Deed.”
Norlan calls the solution a “winning scenario” for all parties. Third Millennium receives his consistent writing contributions, Word & Deed receives his public relations assistance, he receives a stable salary that allows him to focus on his work, and his supporters can continue contributions to his writing work while exploring new projects through Word & Deed.
Since mornings are his most productive writing hours, De Groot works on curriculum for Third Millennium at that time. During his afternoons and evenings, he focuses on public relations for Word & Deed. Even when he travels for Word & Deed, he brings along his Third Millennium curriculum work on his laptop.
It seems that God has allowed him to walk through an open door while staying in the same room.
“I am so excited that the Lord provided this opportunity for me to serve him in new ways,” says Norlan. “When I started with Third Millennium, I was amazed that the Lord created a way for me to serve his Church around the world from a home office in Sioux Center, Iowa. And now he’s done it again. My work with Third Millennium helps churches train a theologically sound leadership, which strengthens their ministry of the Word. My work with Word & Deed adds another dimension by also providing a way to minister to the physical needs of people in the developing world.”
Norlan’s work can be supported clicking on the “Donate Now (US)” link on the wordanddeed.org website or by sending checks to Word & Deed, PO Box 157, Hudsonville, MI 49426. In either case, gifts should be designated for “curriculum development.”
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 10 of the August 22, 2012, issue of Christian Renewal.