Saturday, December 15, 2007

Discipleship: Using Our Resources Wisely, Part 2

Make sure you read part one first.

Would your decision be altered, or become clearer, if you found out that in option #2 many of the people you gave the $50,000 to each year would also end up multiplying their money instead of using it up all at once?

When looking at a ministry of the the church, whether we're talking about youth ministry, the evangelistic efforts of a church, a worship team, or any other part, we should find ourselves asking the same question "should I go with option #1 or should I go with option #2?" The pros and cons change a little and dollars become "our resources" (everything we have at our disposal).

Option #1: Give It All Away
The focus here is to have a string of events that demands a lot of the resources you already have available to you in the church. It sort of takes what the church already has and tries to produce the most it can from those resources. Part of those resources are the people, those who are already willing to volunteer their time and are already fairly capable. Pros: People do get reached and they do get helped, at least temporarily; the first time the church tries something it might look pretty good and impress the rest of the church. Cons: There's a high risk of burning individuals out; the same small handful of people are always doing all the work; no one knows how to pass on what they do (or no one is willing); the work of the individual will die with that individual.

Option #2: Try To Multiply The Resources
The focus here is less on what you have and more on what you hope to have. The hope that more can be achieved drives the person to take necessary risks and challenges. Those that are already volunteers and already fairly capable are not seen as the only resource. The questions is "how can I turn these other people into resources?" Pros: The work seems to increasingly get divided up as the years go by; if an individual steps away from the work someone else is able to pick it up; individuals are far less likely to suffer from burn out; more people are impacted (and the impact on people is longer lasting). Cons: A lot more mistakes are made as you trust unskilled individuals to learn.

Read Matthew 25:14-30 and you'll see a clear case for how God desires for us to take the resources He has given us and multiply it (and He wasn't just talking about money).

In part three I'll talk about why we get stuck being, or choose to be, option-#1-minded in unhealthy ways and the fear of trusting others with our resources (why so many find option #2 to be scary).

Also read part three.

Note: in an attempt to keep my posts shorter I've split this topic into multiple parts. I'll release them one at a time a few days apart.

Also read part three.

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