Friday, March 12, 2010

God-Based Planning in a Faith Venture: The Miracle of the Over-Flowing Cup

The proverbial cup is either half-full or half-empty.

Like individuals, faith venture organizations need to choose which way they will see it.

An important secret to success for business as mission projects is to decide to see the cup as over-flowing.

In Matthew 14: 13-21, Jesus’ disciples see a dramatic mismatch between the hungry crowd of 5000 before them and the five loaves of bread and two fish in their possession. Experience tells them that they don’t have enough food for everyone. In their eyes, the cup is definitely half-full.

But Jesus sees otherwise. In the reality of God’s kingdom, five loaves and two fish miraculously become sufficient to meet the needs of 5000 people. The cup over-flows.

In today’s world, deficit based planning looks at what an organization lacks as it decides how to approach the future. Asset-based planning examines what an organization already has. A faith venture trusts God to use those assets with others still unseen to build the future.

At Bud’s Warehouse and Belay Enterprises, we’re big believers in the asset-based approach. We pay special attention to the unique resources that God has already blessed us with and then walk by faith to see how they will be used for his kingdom purposes.

I’ve shared about how Bud’s Warehouse recently received our largest donation ever of close to 100,000 cabinet doors and components. When we started accepting the donation last May, we had no room to even store the product but all of our staff sensed that God was up to something big.

Deficit-based planning would have looked at all the reasons for not accepting this donation because we had nowhere to store the product and no one with current cabinet making experience to help us. Even so, we felt that God was going to faithfully provide a way to create a cabinet manufacturing program for ex-offenders.

Last summer, as we started accepting our first semi-loads of cabinet doors, a generous donor stepped forward with over 20,000 square feet of temporary warehouse storage space. On New Years’ Eve, a “chance” meeting with a former Bud’s Warehouse volunteer provided us with expertise on how to train and mentor ex-offenders in the manufacture of cabinets.

Yesterday, the Belay Enterprise board agreed that this project has the thumbprints of God all over it. We’re continuing forward with the next phase in its development. There are many pieces of the project that still need to be identified and provided. These include an affordable manufacturing and storage facility as well as expert cabinet instructors with a heart for serving ex-offenders. But we are moving forward in the confidence that God will provide.

In God’s Kingdom, the cup isn’t just half-full, it’s over-flowing. And individuals with a calling for faith ventures get to experience awe as God acts to bless people our world declares unworthy. It’s the miracle of grace and faith being worked out on a daily basis.

No comments: