John Maxwell tells a story about a young boy selling pencils door-to-door in his neighborhood for a nickel apiece.
A prospective buyer asks what he plans to do with the money.
He says, “I’m planning to raise a million dollars to help build a new hospital.”
“That’s a big job for just one boy, isn’t it?” the buyer asks.
“It’s not so hard,” the boy says. “I’ve got a friend helping me.”
It’s amazing how much smaller even the biggest tasks become with someone beside you.
Too many times we try to tackle each task alone and try to solve every problem on our own, which ultimately makes us vulnerable to discouragement and defeat.
When you accepted the call to ministry, or even the call to discipleship, you took on an enormous job. You can’t do it alone. It takes two, at least, and often more. You need others to help you get the job done.
I challenge you this week to consider a few ideas.
• Take some time to identify your teammates. In each project, think about their role and your role, how you complement one another, and how you can build on one another’s strengths.
Focus on what’s right about the partnership, rather than what’s wrong.
• Take some time to identify your problem-solvers. In the areas where you struggle — personal, spiritual, career, ministry — ask yourself, “Who can I bring in to help make this better?” Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, working with someone will get you there faster.
• At the same time, look for a chance to lend a hand. Is there someone you know in the midst of a massive pencil selling campaign? Maybe you can pitch in long enough to help them bring their project to the finish line.
Solomon makes reference to this in Ecclesiastes. He talks about how futile it is to work alone. And then he says…
Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
More importantly, Solomon reminds us that working with a team helps one bounce back more quickly from defeat.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
Solomon finishes the thought by saying…
Two can stand back to back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Do you want to get better, faster? Bring on a partner. Or two or three. See how much more quickly you move down the road of progress.