In difficult days, it’s easy to drift into counting what you’ve lost but good leaders look to find what we’ve gained. And when you do, you’ll see how a crisis can be a catalyst for hidden ideas, sharper focus, new growth and a renewed purpose.

4 Principles for Renewed Purpose

1. Constraints lead to creativity. 

The economy is broken. Layoffs and unemployment are accelerating. Charitable giving is teetering, if not falling. The tendency is to think more money and resources equal more reach and influence. Sure, money and resources can be a big help. But they often soften the edge of creative thinking. With resources, you don’t have to think as hard. You just do what you’ve always done.

It’s why the following question is so needed – both in good times and bad: “What would we do if we had no money?”

Far too often, the answer to this question is the right one. Instead of seeing a reduction in resources as a loss, see it as a gift. These constraints are disguised as creative and innovative opportunities.

2. Limited resources + Fierce commitment lead to a prevailing Church. 

Pastor, you have a fierce commitment to serve your congregation. This time of limitation meets your commitment and it will lead to a breakthrough. That’s what happens with prevailing pastors and congregations. They figure it out.

Gene Kranz, the flight director for Apollo 13, is as scrappy as they come. When in danger of losing the lives of three astronauts he was the one who delivered the famous line to his NASA colleagues, “Failure is not an option.”

 3. Proper pruning produces growth.

One of my first jobs involved pruning trees. The irony of pruning is the finished product looks more like death than life. In his book, Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud talks about the painful, helpful process of pruning.

“Getting to the next level always requires ending something, leaving it behind and moving on. Growth itself demands that we move on.”

This is certainly a pruning time for all of us. And yes, pruning is painful. But pruning leads to new growth.

What do you need to prune back in order to grow more?

  • Before the crisis, what would you say is essential?

  • During the crisis, what have you done without?

  • After the crisis, what do you need to leave behind?

4. Pivot (back) to the need. 

This season is an opportunity to revisit why your church started in the first place.

Two great questions for your next virtual team meeting:

“What is the need we have been gathered together to meet?”

“What opportunity does this season provide to help us understand the need in ways we didn’t before the crisis?”

Look for the pain in your community and find the need you are equipped to meet.

This week, talk to your team about these principles. Not only will this lead to some great conversations and new, great ideas, more importantly, it will also lead you to some of your best memories.

APPLICATION: This post first appeared on the COVID website of The Alberta and Northwest Territories District of the PAOC.


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Bob Jones

Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 41 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring others through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, reading, and ball hockey. I'm a fan of the Esks, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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