The Gift of Resourcefulness (and why it should matter to church leaders)

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Talent is nice, but it’s just one ingredient when it comes to the nitty gritty, complex church leadership issues. There are so many dynamics – relationships, finances, politics, and more.  We work with what we have been given as we seek to further the Gospel message.

I recently heard the goal of being good at the “business” side of church isn’t to make the church more business-like, but to make the church more church-like.  We need the organizational side of ministry to be solid, and for sure not a hindrance, to our mission of reaching people.

As a result, church staff need to become resourceful. The local church needs people to lead with what they have.  People who are able to make it work no matter what the situation.  You may not have as many resources as the neighboring church, but you can have resourcefulness. What are some of the things you can do without costing an extra cent? How can you arrange your time to include others in leadership? Where can you pass off ownership? How can you help creatively reach out to the community? How can you overcome barriers in your building?  In your parking?  In your financial constraints?

In this modern era and instant idea sharing we see too quickly what works in other parts of our region and our world. A quick Google search can tell you all you need to know about neighboring churches. There is one conference after the next of churches sharing how they do things. There’s nothing wrong with learning from other churches, in fact, I encourage you to attend and learn all you can. But don’t let it stifle what God is calling you to do in your church right now.  As coach John Wooden famously said, “don’t let you what you can’t do overshadow what you can do”.

According to the dictionary, resourcefulness is the “ability to act effectively or imaginatively, especially in difficult situations; able to deal skillfully and promptly with new  and difficult situations, difficulties; and able to find solutions to problems.”

Scripture calls on us to be resourceful.  With faith in God and a tenacity to make it happen, we’re invited to give it a try.

  • Jesus called on his disciples to be resourceful when he told them to give them something to eat during the miracle of the Feeding of the 5,000, Jesus told his disciples, “You give them something to eat.” (Luke 9:13)
  • When Jesus sent out the sent out the 72, he said, take nothing with you, just what you’re wearing, your shoes and your walking stick.  Have faith.  Travel light.  Be resourceful.  (Luke 10)
  • David, a young boy, goes out to fight the giant in faith.  He’s asked to where to wear the best armor of the day, but instead, he picks up five smooth stones and uses his ability to wield a sling!  He had faith and he was resourceful. (1 Samuel 17)
  • Christlike disciples should not have a scarcity mindset or give up on a problem too quickly.  As Jesus himself told us, we will see greater things than he did on earth (John 14:12)!  The power that is at work within us is greater than the power at work in the world (1 John 4:4)!  His holy spirit came to lead us when he left – we can be prompted, given wisdom and be encouraged to take risks!  With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Be resourceful in your ministry.  Ask God to give you what you what you need to be the minister, servant and leader you need to be.

I hesitate to make a list because every situation is completely different.  But here are a few common denominators that might prompt you to be resourceful in your work and ministry.


What skills do you have to help bring about growth in your ministry?  What skills do you need to grow and work on?  How can you begin to grow in the needed skills for ministry in your church?  Decide to grow your skills.  It will make a tremendous impact on your leadership.


Creativity doesn’t have to be art.  It can be the way you solve problems, the way you help people feel included, the way you present and share a vision.  What is one area of life you are creative?  Utilize that gift in your church.


When I first read a little book called The Fred Factor I was inspired to think of ways to add value to others without costing a cent to the organization I was a part of.  What if you create inspiration around you, just because of your vision, attitude and desire for things to get better.  Like the mailman in Fred Factor that went above and beyond the normal US Postal Service role, you can change your whole community with inspiration.

Team Work

Developing a team is a powerful way to bring about resourcefulness in your ministry.  When you get several people around the table, you are able to come up with ideas and plans that can make a huge difference.  There is more in others than we typically will give credit.  Learning to lead with and through them will determine your level of success.


Meetings often get a bad rap, but meetings, when done right, fuel action.  Meeting help us pinpoint problems and options for solutions.


You may need coaching to help unlock new ideas and strategies.  Find someone near you, online or through a class or books, to help direct you.  The more confidence you can have, the more willing you are to take risks – which is needed to be truly resourceful.


Resourcefulness can be a huge benefit to the church.  We don’t want a frugal mindset – when something needs to be purchased to more effectively do ministry, we seek to go through the right channels, research and time frame to make it happen.

Still there is so much we can offer when we put our mind to it.

Are you overwhelmed with this idea?  Hopefully it will spur on your creativity. What obstacles are you facing in your ministry?  What could you do to help solve the problem?



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