But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 1 John 3:17
It wasn’t that long ago that I was in a business management class at a small college in San Diego. One of the assignments for the semester was a group project. The instructions were to work in a team of 5 people and create a set of instructions that would show how to build a small model boat. We were to design the boat, provide a blueprint, and the build the model boat to show and demonstrate our product. I sat down with my group of motivated leaders - poised and ready give all they had to this project. However, what seemed such a simple project, in short order, turned into a complicated nightmare that kept me awake until 4am in the morning. In the first hour of our planning time came 5 different opinions on the grandeur of how this small model boat should look. Suddenly a small model boat turned into a world-class yacht. A simple plan would yield a simple set of instructions, but several members were on the fast track to show off their artistic skills rather than focusing on the requirements of the assignment. I was hindered from accomplishing the assignment’s goals, and my frustration grew. My teammate’s egos were getting in the way because the sky was the limit. They wanted to build the coolest model boat ever, but they were missing the point of the assignment.
That night I stayed up drawing up the instructions for building a small wooden boat that described in detail the tools needed, steps for assembly and visuals of the final product. If I hadn’t done this, I know that my team and I would have failed. If my team had harnessed their egos and identified some limited resources, I believe the team project would have been a success. If I had known what I know now about leadership I would have communicated that we needed to conserve our time, energy and resources in order to meet the requirements of the assignment.
When our community has an abundance of resources, we tend not to work as well together. But when a crisis hits the community, we naturally unify, put egos aside and find creative ways to work together. We need to learn from these times and reap the results for a sustainable way to meet the needs in our community. Many churches feel that they are not equipped to respond to the needs in their community because they lack the resources and manpower; but when the churches come together with inventive ways to bring resources together, many people in need receive the blessing. Sometimes God allows us to have very little in order to equip and mold us as leaders – preparing us to be good stewards of the resources He has given us. With the current state of our nation’s economy, many ministries and churches are limited to meeting needs in their community because of a lack of money and resources; but some are finding that by humbling themselves, training to be a good facilitator and asking God to use the church in a creative way, they are opening the door for God to bless their community. Some communities are finding the ReadyCity training is exactly what they need to steer the churches limited resources into a storehouse of abundance for a city in need. You will always make better decisions when you have limitations, even when they are self-imposed. Dream big. Don’t worry; God will crush the stupid dreams so you don’t have to.