Carpe Opportunity

Pajamas Opportunities are funny things. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get all the opportunities while others can't seem to catch a break? One hypothesis is that some people are just more lucky than others. Another says there is something–good looks, charm, etc. that causes people to want to help certain people succeed. Perhaps that's the case every now and then, but not all the time. When it comes to churches…it's almost never the case. 

It's readiness and nimbleness.

Some churches are ready for opportunities God brings their way. Others are not. What I mean is that sometimes (though obviously not always)…it isn't that one church gets a lot of opportunities and others don't as much as they are ready for opportunities that come their way and they seize them. Many churches are far too slow to receive and maximize opportunities that come their way. Others simply have leadership whose default answer is set to "no." In such churches people don't spend much time exploring new possibilities because the odds would be too long and the effort too herculean make pursuing new opportunities worthwhile.

Church readiness and church nimbleness are two highly underrated virtues. My observation has been that the more nimble and ready a church is, the more "opportunities" seem to come their way. Those churches bogged down by lots of bureaucracy or narrow-mindedness tend to have fewer "opportunities" come their way over the years. When a donor steps up and offers resources, they don't have a plan for what to do with it. When a new ministry opportunity comes up, they have trouble recognizing it's potential or are naturally skeptical of new ideas.

I know of a situation in which a dying, "legacy" church literally could not give away their land and building worth a great deal of money to other churches. Neighboring churches either didn't want the risk of lawsuits or the headache of having to liquidate the assets and figure out what to do with them. They simply weren't ready. Or, it simply would have taken them too long and too much bloodshed to get ready. So, they all passed. Eventually, a church said, "yes." They used the facility for all sorts of good works, and guess what… more opportunities came their way. Lots more.

Jesus said those who were faithful with little would be given more…and I have seen that born out time and time again when it comes to church "opportunities." I certainly can't guarantee you that if you are ready and able to maximize opportunites that come your church's way that they will fall from the sky. I can tell you that you are likely to get a lot more of them if you are faithful with those God gives you. God will send opportunities to those who will use them well…and other people will bring their ideas and opportunities to those with open minds who might do something with the ideas.

One caviat: All churches should say no to some things because they either don't fit with vision or it really is too expensive, etc. All "yes" answers should be biblical and prayer-bathed. However, we need to make sure we say "no" for the right reasons, not because we are too narrow-minded, too bureaucratic, or too meager in faith to believe God might actually bless us with opporunities. We should pray for Kingdom opportunities, asking God to provide us with readiness and nimbleness. This will take preparation, but it's well worth it.

Carpe opportunity.

 

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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