“Do for one what you wish you could do for one hundred.” This is one of the things that Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church and leadership expert, teaches as a core value. Because of the size of his organization, it is physically impossible for him to help everyone all the time, so he has adopted this phrase. I think the general idea is that if the leader does it, so will the people until everyone’s needs are met. I’m glad Andy has chosen to make my idea famous.
Long ago, a recent high school graduate set up a small stage set in the middle of a park in one of the smallest towns in America. After spending the previous day knocking on literally ever door in town, I quickly came to the conclusion that no kids lived in this town but only elderly people. Regardless, I had given each citizen a flyer advertising our summer program that was coming to their town and told them to tell any kids they know about it (I did this in five towns that summer, one each weekend). I pulled together a few kids from the church I was serving who had learned puppetry, clowning, and a few other methods we were going to use for our program. We even brought prizes with us! I pulled them together and said, “We’re going to do for one what we wish we could do for one hundred.” I’m not kidding you, I said it. Before I had ever heard of North Point, Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, or any other big time preacher, I said those exact words. For me, though, the meaning was entirely different from what Andy Stanley teaches.
I’ve always been obsessed with quality. I truthfully don’t know where it came from, though I know it has been refined by numerous people who have poured into my life. If only one kid showed up, I wanted them to get the exact same program that we would have done for one hundred because it was not that kid’s fault that there were not any other kids there. Why should he/she miss out?
Every time I’ve ever poured myself into a project for kids or ministry, I’ve always prepared myself by saying those words over and over. I’ve said them to my helpers and my leaders. I repeat them over and over until they become the truth. And if you’ve ever seen me, you would see that they are true. It has never mattered to me how few people showed up, they got everything. Honestly, I have let it get to me a few times, but those are the exception.
I also figure that if I do it this way, if God sends 100 kids my way, I’ll be ready. And He’s surprised me a time or two with that very thing.
Are you willing to give your all to the few today? What are you holding back?