19 Apr Do you have SFD?
A few weeks ago EJ and I were in Wheaton, Ill., with our granddaughter celebrating here sixth birthday. She had received an Ant Farm as a gift at Christmas but hadn’t sent for the ants until just before her birthday. The ants arrived the same day we did. What excitement to open a package of ants and turn them loose in the ant farm.
Most of the ant farms I had seen consisted of sand, but not this one. It had a blue translucent gel material that had been developed by NASA. It seems they took some ants into space to see how they reacted to weightlessness and they needed a medium they could live in safely in space. So, this gel was developed. Anyway, we turned them loose. What an amazing sight.
The ants began running around the case in which they were placed. It looked like they were totally disorganized. But soon it became apparent that was not the case. Little balls of the blue gel began piling up on the surface. Looking closer, you could see the ants beginning to make their tunnels. There was an organization after all. Some did the digging with their mouth, laying aside small pieces of the gel, while others picked up the gel and took it away to pile it up out of the way of their tunnel. They worked and ran their little legs off to build their tunnels.
Within just a few hours they have dug 3-4 inches deep in two different tunnels. By the next morning they were connecting the tunnels. By he third day they had built additional tunnels, connected them, and built what looked like escape routes. And all the while, to a casual observer it looked like frantic, unorganized running here and there. But that wasn’t the case at all. Those ants had Single Focused Determination (SFD). There was a synergistic team work, they worked in anticipation of future needs, they had initiative and motivation. There was a task to do and they did it.
Do you have SFD? Does your church have SFD? What should be the SFD of a local church?
A lot of distractions come to the life of the church. If we are not absolutely clear about our purpose/mission, we will become side-tracked by the distractions. I think it is possible to work hard without fulfilling any purpose/mission. I think I see churches doing that all the time.
It happens when we begin seeing activity as the purpose/mission of our church. We think we are successful because we had all these activities. But activity is not success. Fulfilling the purpose/mission is success. So the question is really, after all the activity, was there a SFD to accomplish the purpose/mission? An SFD asks not, “What can we do,” but rather, “What should we do?” An SFD doesn’t count activities, time and money, but measures how well we fulfill our purpose/mission. And it really takes an SFD to a purpose/mission if you are to accomplish what you say is important.
Those little ants were not deterred when we picked up their container. They were not deterred when we pressed our faces close to the sides. They were not deterred when a little six-year-old carried the thing around the house. They were not deterred when eight other children arrived for a birthday party and gathered around the ants screaming and laughing. They were not deterred! Why? They had SFD…a Single Focused Determination to accomplish their purpose/mission.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-7).