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Minutes with Alan

Renewing The Vision

by Alan Sears, President, CEO and General Counsel

 

A few months ago, I did something I hadn’t done in years. I bought new glasses.

They’ve taken some getting used to, and — as with anything you change about your personal appearance — I was a little self-conscious, at first, about what people might think. A little, but not much. To me, eyeglasses are about being able to see. All I really changed were the frames.

I feel the same way about our rebranding effort, as we revise our name from “Alliance Defense Fund” to “Alliance Defending Freedom.” The change may take some getting used to — both for those of us who work here, and for those who so faithfully support us. But in the end, we have to remember that what we’re changing is the framework ... not the vision.

People change glasses for many reasons: their old ones broke, they grew tired of them, they decided something else would look more fashionable. I changed mine simply because, while the old frames were adequate, I knew the new ones would work better for me now.

That’s also why we elected to go through this rebranding process. While there were good enough reasons, early on, for calling our ministry the Alliance Defense Fund, over time we found that the name confused people. Were we a financial group, an insurance agency, a defense contractor? To groups overseas, we looked and sounded like an organization working to underwrite the CIA.

It was time for a change, and about 18 months ago, our board members said, “Now is the time.” With that, our team went to work, laying the necessary groundwork for this transition. It wasn’t easy. I’m reminded of a young lady we hired years ago after a particularly thorough and extensive HR process. When we finally introduced her to our team, she stood up, looked around the room, and said, smiling, “Raise your hand if I didn’t interview with you for this job.”

View a special message from Alan.

That’s pretty much the case with these new branding elements. We’ve consulted with more than 2,000 Ministry Friends, Blackstone Fellows, Allied Attorneys, international allies, and associates, drawing on their unique perspectives and insights. What we’ve learned is going to make us a better ministry, and more adept than ever before at defending religious freedom.

Sure, the new name will take some getting used to. Pray for us, as we make the necessary adjustments. Then look closely, and see if you don’t see what we’re seeing: that it’s worth changing the frame, if it makes our vision that much sharper.

John 15:5 — Apart from Christ, we can do nothing.