What Inspires You?

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do." Leonardo da Vinci

"Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground." Theodore Roosevelt

I had great difficulty starting this month's column as "I couldn't find inspiration,"  a situation I'm sure all of you can relate to. I am so convinced that there is a clear path from here to building and occupying a new sanctuary on our campus that I sometimes feel like I am boring people and not producing any vision that can inspire them forward.

Some thirty years ago, when I accepted my first real challenge in our church in Goleta, CA, I was extremely daunted by taking on something in which I had no experience and few skills - the Pledge or Canvass Campaign.

I began my task by defining the known parameters, the steps necessary, the tasks to accomplish, people to be on the committee to attain the goal, the start date, the end date, and as many detailed ideas as I could garner about how to see through this assignment.

At our first Canvass Committee meeting, I presented my plan to the group in the form of a Gantt chart I had developed in Microsoft Project. They were, to say the least, flabbergasted and asked "Uh, what the heck is this?" My response was "This is the way I see how to get from here to there." I observed many eyes rolling!

It turns out there are more ways of planning than I knew, some of which can be transmitted in plain English and some of which take some training, Gantt charts falling definitely among the latter! Nonetheless, I (alone) continued using the chart to check our progress and stay on schedule while learning to speak of our tasks in a less technical way amongst the committee members.

I also confused and even irritated the committee when I set up an assembly line for conjoining our mail-out materials into large envelopes and had included a final Inspection Station to ensure that all the important pieces were included in every envelope and properly sorted labels were applied to qualify for the Post Office mass-mailing rate.

I ended up taking the Inspection Station as the others did things in their usual friendly and disorganized manner.

All went well with the Canvass but I had completed new lessons in my continuing life-long learning process as to how to communicate without ruffling feathers.

I can “see” how to get to our new Sanctuary but don’t know how to inspire others to the enthusiasm needed to get us all excitedly heading in that direction.

Do you have some inspirational hints for me and for us? I'd greatly appreciate input from you. Talk to me after Sunday service, call, text, email, or send me a letter with your ideas.

Don Martin