Think differently about limitations
By Shannon Caughey
It’s the gravitational pull for most of us: as soon as we start talking about launching a second site or expanding ministry at our current location, our minds quickly jump to what we don’t have. We’re concerned about the financial resources we don’t have or the extra leaders we don’t have or the meeting space we don’t have. We focus on limitations.
A year ago I was sitting in a conference for church leaders. The topic of the day was gaining and sustaining momentum. I vividly remember Craig Groeschel, one of the most effective and innovative pastors today, encouraging us to think differently about limitations. He even challenged us to embrace our limitations.
“Our limitations become the breeding ground for innovation,” Groeschel said. Instead of getting stuck in “doing church the way we’ve always done it,” God uses our limitations to spur us on toward new and creative ways to reach people with the gospel and make disciples of Jesus Christ. According to Groeschel, around their church they have a saying: “God often guides by what he doesn’t provide.”
Limitations need not put a stop to new ministry initiatives. In fact, if we’re willing to think differently about what we don’t have, limitations can actually be a catalyst for a surge of momentum in ministry. Our limitations compel us to ask, “God, what new approaches to ministry do you have in mind for us—things we would not have thought of if we weren’t facing limited financial resources or limited building space?”
This is not a denial of the limitations we’re encountering. The question is how we’ll respond. Will we use this as an opportunity to think differently about limitations? Could God be using these limitations to take us into a new season of innovation?