How To Do A Lot With A Little
If you know me at all you know that I have an affinity for magic. Not the weird card game that you could buy along with a new pog slammer back in the day, but the type that involves illusions.
Now there are all different kinds of magic but my favorite has always been street magic which is typically performed up close and personal in a location where a lot of people congregate. And what I love most about street magic is that when performed properly, it can completely amaze people using the simplest of tools such as a deck of cards or a coin.
Street magic when done well does a lot with a little and what I can say with confidence is that this is something every church can stand to benefit from. Doing a lot with a little is an art form that requires intention and effort and it’s something that we're always striving to do at Redemption.
Here are three ways you can do a lot with a little.
1. Understand Your Unique Value Proposition
There are things you can do at your current church age and size that are unique and that won’t always be an option. Though the temptation is to think/plan/dream for the future...you would be foolish to ignore the current season in an attempt to strive for something else. Some examples of what I’m talking about are; embracing the group of 25 that are in your core group and enjoying a meal together after each service/gathering or incorporating certain elements in your service of 150 that would be difficult with 1,500 people.
Understanding your unique value proposition requires you to ask yourself the question “what can we do right now that is unique to where we are as a church?” and the answer to that question is the starting point of doing a lot with a little.
2. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have.
I will be the first to admit that when I see a church with better musicians, more technology, and more resources I say to myself “if I only had that ___________ then we could really do some creative stuff!” But the problem with that thinking is that if your creativity is limited when you have a little it will stay that way when you have a lot. So one of the ways we avoid the “if I only had ________” trap is by focusing on what we do have.
Who are the creative people in your church that might currently be untapped? What could you acquire for free by simply asking? What do you currently have that could be repurposed?
This past Christmas season was a good example of this for us. We literally had $0 to spend to make the high school theater we meet in feel less high school theater and more Christmas-y. So we got together some talented and gifted people who call Redemption home and started to talk about what we did have, both in resources and skills. Soon we had a fantastic idea that with everyone’s best effort we could pull off for next to nothing.
Next time you sit down to plan, brainstorm, or think about what to do next forget what you don’t have and focus on what you do have.
3. Do whatever it takes.
One of the factors that leads to creativity and excellence when doing a lot with a little is the commitment to do whatever it takes to get the job done. For us this past Christmas season, it meant driving all over Chicagoland to pick up wooden pallets from anyone and everyone who would give them to us for free. Despite the time and energy this took, we had the attitude that no matter what, we were going to get all the pallets we needed to design the set we had in mind.
Regardless of the task or the project, the ability to do whatever it takes will open up so many more possibilities to accomplish things you might have previously thought impossible.
In the end, we who get to pastor and lead churches have been given such an incredible gift and responsibility. We need to be striving to steward this responsibility well and one of the ways we can do that is by doing a lot with a little.