This weekend we revealed a new stage set in our elementary environment.
Opening the curtain took about 2 seconds.
The stage behind it took about 2 years.
I think sometimes in ministry we think things should happen quickly or in big moments.
I mean when you look at Christianity and the parts we tend to highlight, the moment you accept Christ, the moment you take part in baptism, ect, it kind of makes sense.
There’s nothing wrong with moments but sometimes in life and in ministry change happens through minutia not moments.
I’ve written before about not focusing on the short win but the big picture. Sometimes the exciting stuff, the high-energy stuff, or the sexy stuff can attract a lot of interest and attention. The problem comes when people assume that the moment is all there is to it.
They miss the work that went into it. They miss the grind. They miss the non exciting, energy sucking, non-sexy part. But without that investment the return wouldn’t be what it is.
Before we got to open the curtain this week there were a lot of late nights of setting up new and temporary sets for each month.
They took a ton of time, energy, and honestly a skill set and expertise that was hard to find.
You can see from the photos some months we were able to theme things out in big exciting ways. Most often because we were able to reuse or recycle great sets that were created by people with that hard to find skill set.
It was in the fall of 2016 we had an idea. Not just a random idea. An idea we arrived at by talking to and interviewing and studying other ministries.
What if instead of theming out our stage we themed out characters and stuck with a versatile but permanent set that we could utilize in a lot of different ways?
So starting in the fall of 2016 we recycled a theater themed set and set out to use it for 9 months. We wanted to test the idea before we invested serious man hours or real dollars.
It wasn’t sexy or exciting but it was necessary.
At the end of the nine months we had fired enough bullets that we were ready to fire our calibrated cannon ball. (If you haven’t heard of that look up Jim Collins and his great advice on tested ideas versus innovation).Once we were ready to fire the cannonball we started by getting different drawings of potential stages and decided on one that met the versatility and practicality we were looking for with the exciting and artistic look we felt it needed.
We’ll continue to strive for improvements and take new exciting steps. But if you look at this picture and think:
I wish I could experience that exciting moment.
Don’t forget all of these moments and late nights and at times even frustrations.
Because they go together and they aren’t complete without each other. The truth is ministry isn’t just accomplished in moments. Whether it’s something practical like a stage set or even something much more serious like a person you love and care for giving their life to Jesus. The moment you expectantly pray for and dream of won’t happen without a good deal of minutia before.
I had a great leader recently encourage me with a verse from Zechariah 4:10. “Do not look down on the small amount of work done on the temple so far.”
What seems like something small can lead to something big and when you see something big don’t forget that there were a lot of small moments that it is stacked on. So if you’re going through the grind right now, remember how important it is. And if you’re experiencing the excitement don’t forget how the grind helped you get there.