Good intentions are a great start but for many that is all. A great start with a lame finish is counterproductive.
And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
1 Corinthians 8:10-12
The Starting Block
I recall running track for the first time in Phys Ed. I bolted off the starting line and left the rest of the class in the dust. I was amazed at my own performance. I saw Olympic medals in my future until I began approaching the halfway mark. Winded, I lost both strength and motivation as classmates passed me one by one till I finished last. Those dreams were dashed. It’s not just how we start, but also how we finish that counts.
There were some Corinthians who jumped right off the starting blocks and assured Paul that they were with him. They were forward about their support, but over the course of the year, they lost their enthusiasm and required follow up.
Ideally, we should be able to give someone vision and direction, then turn them loose to do the job. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way. People look to their leaders for the inspiration to continue and persevere. That church member or employee that was enthusiastic last year may just be getting by this year. That great idea that they were going to take off with, may just be a dream of the past by now. As a leader, it’s not just your job to inspire but also to help maintain that vision.
Paul grabs the good intentions of these Corinthians and asks them what they have done with them. He doesn’t beat them up or give them a tongue lashing. He affirms the value of their intentions and motivates them to take it to the next level. Let’s move from a ready mind to a performing action.
Look around you. Who in your organization started well? Are they still at it or have they languished? Has their dream faded by the wayside? Is their enthusiasm still fresh? Have they made any progress? If you look hard enough you will probably discover someone who needs follow up. You probably don’t have to look too hard.
God has appointed you to be a leader. Don’t just sit around and pity them. Don’t simply shake your head in frustration. Don’t waste time morning what could have been. Take a moment to inspire, remotivate, and encourage them. Your confidence and interest may be all it takes to rekindle the spark in their soul, and engage them in the vision.
“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” Proverbs 15:23