It doesn’t take a leader to discover problems, it only takes a human who is willing to look.
The thrilling powers of observation were at work in Christ’s disciples. Sometimes it can be annoying when people point out obvious problems without presenting solutions. Jesus however, wasn’t annoyed when the disciples informed him that the coutryside-traipsing multitude of 5000 folk were now hungry. Duh guys. Duh.
A leader like me in Jesus’ position would panic. My mind would suddenly be filled with 10 ideas; 5 of them bad and 5 of them worse . And I would have to pick the best solution among the lineup of the awful and ugly. Like the disciples, I probably would have selected the best of the worst ideas: send them home.
Imagine the look on the disciples faces when Jesus happily replied to their observation, “You give them something to eat.”
Is this not the challenge that now confronts us as leaders in the body of Christ? Jesus isn’t here bodily. In the disciples day they’d just go ask Him. But here we are, with the command, “YOU give the people something to eat.” Impossible! We check our pockets, nothing. We check our spiritual bank accounts, not much to withdraw (actually overdraft fees loom). The need FAR exceeds the resource. Or so we think…
Then, the most confusing and liberating words to any young leader: “What do you have?” Forget about what you don’t have, you can’t change that; at least, not right now. Let’s start at square one. For ONE isn’t much, but it’s something, and it might be all that God needs. Sometimes ONE is 5 loaves and 2 fish. Sometimes ONE is a prayer meeting with only 2 people in it. Sometimes ONE is just a willing heart with a freed up schedule.
Dear leader, when you feel anxious, worried, ambitious or unsettled, let these words pierce your heart, “What do you have?” Let them sink deep. Let them wash away worry. Let them wash away your ideas about how it should be done. Let them smack around our preconceived notions of leadership, ministry model and protocol.
Today, don’t worry about what do you don’t have. Ask yourself, “What do I have? And how, Oh God, will you multiply it for Your glory?”