What Do You Have? Go and See…

The marathon open air seminar had gone on all day and the audience showed no sign of losing interest, although the support team wanted to pack up and go home.  The seminar ticket hadn’t included lunch, and no-one had anticipated the huge logistical problem of providing for such a large group.

The available resources were inadequate to meet the need.

“Send them home!”  Said the sound engineer, interrupting the keynote speaker mid-flow.  But he didn’t seem to understand the urgency of the situation, or what could happen if a hungry audience turned nasty.  Then the Man At The Front handed the problem right back to them.

“You give them something to eat.”

Well, they were the support team after all, but the tickets had been issued free of charge – so how could they cover operational expenses of this magnitude?

“What do you have?  Go and see.”

Figure looking into an empty box

© sellingpix / 123RF Stock Photo

A resource audit.  Right.  Well, that wouldn’t take long.  They put out an announcement for anyone with any food to bring it to reception, and checked for leftovers from yesterday’s fishing trip.  They came up with a few fajitas and a couple of sardines.

The available resources were inadequate to meet the need.

Observers reported a rather smug look on the faces of some members of the support team.  Someone muttered “We told you so” and, “Ok, now what?”  But what happened next blew them all away.

Everyone had to sit down in groups.  Good tactical move, that – it’s difficult to riot when you are sitting down.  Then the Man At The Front looked up and gave thanks for the tiny amount of food, and started to break it into pieces for the team to hand out.  What the people at the back thought is anyone’s guess, like, “That food is going to run out way before it gets to us.”

But it didn’t.  Everyone had more than enough.

The available resources were adequate to meet the need.

Many of you are called to lead a team, a business, a social enterprise or a charity.  You feel the responsibility of managing something bigger than you, and the sense that you are accountable for fulfilling a position of trust; stewarding what God has entrusted to you.  There are plenty of needs to meet, both inside the organisation and externally: employees, partners, donors, trustees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, family, you….  It seems like there just isn’t enough to go round.

But the available resources are adequate to meet the need.

Try this 4 step approach:

Small human character holding a clipboard

© johan2011 / 123RF Stock Photo

1. What do you have?  Go and see.

The list can include property, cash, equipment, office space, vehicles, land and goods.  Include things you have access to as well as own.  Ideas, vision, values, relationships, reputation, contacts, beliefs and culture can also be counted where we have some responsibility to take care of them.  Family, friends, colleagues, employees, customers and suppliers represent some of the people in our lives who affect us and are influenced by what we do.  Personal assets include our time, skills, potential and personality.  Could you fill a whole page?

2. Get Organised for Growth.

Identify the different areas you want to keep in balance, such as health, family, customers, employees, financial, social, spiritual and recreation; add to this list as necessary.  Put structures in place for each one, clarifying goals, scheduling time, and identifying actions.  Maybe kick back and make room for some Expectancy.

3. Be Thankful

Stay focused on the One who has already provided all you have, and acknowledge that you have been given these things.   You didn’t create them all by yourself.  Keep your eyes on the Giver, not the gift.

4. Divide and Enjoy

Go back to the list of resources from step 1 and begin to use them to meet each area of need or responsibility.  Look for ways to apply one resource to several areas, and for interdependencies or new connections.  Discover that Kingdom resources multiply with use.

What do you need to do now, to apply this in your own life?

Based on a true story in Luke 9:12-17.

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4 thoughts on “What Do You Have? Go and See…

    • Glad you enjoyed the story-telling Pam. I love stories (especially those which are true) and the way Jesus used them to get people thinking as well as illustrate a great truth. Perhaps the perspective of a coach helps to reflect on them and draw out the deeper meanings.

      Maybe even take some action…

  1. Another great re-purposing of a story of Jesus. I know that have to continually be organizing and re-organizing to make sure that I am on top of the administrative needs of my business, and my resources. It isn’t intuitive for me, so I have to work!

    • I missed the importance of organisation every time I read the account of the feeding of the 5,000 (and that was just the men) until recently. Great point Matthew, about needing to be aware and intentional in those areas which don’t come so naturally to us. I have a few of those myself, including some I have to rely on someone else to point out.