I often think that what drives any organization no matter how big or small is the spirit that motivates it.
But what enables the Spirit to be a dominant force?
I believe it’s the people who build the foundation and it’s the Spirit that determines the culture that underpins the sustainability of any organization.
Like the apostles when they started the first church it began with Peter’s speech about the values and beliefs that Jesus stood for that everyone should be loved and accepted. Beliefs that called for a commitment to fellowship, sharing and celebrating together.
I believe the Early Church succeeded because firstly, all people involved felt they belonged and were appreciated. Secondly, they were passionate about their mission. Thirdly, there ideas were listened to, recognized and implemented when they were of value to the whole community. Fourthly, their talents and gifts were utilized to build community and enhance the lives of others. Finally, their achievements were celebrated and gratitude was expressed.
I also believe that the Early Church always reflected its practice and continued to evolve to ensure it didn’t become complacent but relevant to the needs of the people it serve. The apostles achieved this through prayer and the teachings of Jesus that have manifested themselves into the Church today. From a speech outside a temple to thousands of believers worldwide. Hence the message that Peter delivered was is you need the Spirit to drive people to support your beliefs and live them through your actions. Furthermore, it is only the intrinsic motivation of the Spirit that can set you free thus providing your life with meaning and purpose.
When Jesus responds to Thomas’ s reaction about his need to see him to believe he had risen from the dead how many of us could relate to falling into that trap of the need to have proof to know something will be done.
As Jesus says, “Have you believed because you have seen me?” John 21-29Hence the need to see something done to believe that it has actually happened.But why is our thinking determined by observing evidence rather than being filled with trust? I suggest there are several reasons for questioning that the outcome will be achieved.
Firstly, questions arise when the people involved that you are relying on in achieving your outcomes will they actually do what you hope they will do? Often you can make an assessment about the people in your lives and judge if they will enable you to achieve positive outcomes that will not only benefit you but others. Thus it becomes an issue of trust.
Secondly, doubts exist when what is asked to be achieved may not actually be possible. Too many times maybe what we are asking to be achieved requires a number of conditions. The timing might be wrong, the environment inappropriate or what you need to achieve your goals unavailable. Hence are you setting the bar too high?
Thirdly, who decides if the expectations of goals to be reached are at a level that is satisfactory to all stakeholders? So is your goal perceived by everyone has the best possible outcome or is everyone seeking different conclusions that are advantageous to themselves? Hence making the goals not achievable.
Finally, just like Jesus’ message to Thomas the outcomes are a result of our actions. If we doubt or begin to change our goals we are unlikely to succeed.
However if we believe and persist despite the doubts, we are making our opportunity to be successful achievable. Just like Jesus said to Thomas, “happy are those who have believed and have not seen”. I believe focus on the process and hence the doubts are alleviated and furthermore many outcomes are possible. After all isn’t this faith is about not knowing the outcome?