The Bucket gets full.
This little proverb of deep, infinite wisdom was something my dad said when I was a kid. I'm pretty sure the emphasis was on everybody pitching in. "Many hands make light work" might have been what he was going for. Or perhaps "Teamwork makes the Dream work."
But nevertheless, we ended up with a bucket, and a substantial amount of urine as the goal we were working toward.
When I was a kid, I counted it as a wise maxim. This might explain why I'm a jacked up mess.
When I was older, it dawned on me that there really isn't an instance where this would be a desired outcome.
But it stuck with me. I've maybe even said it in a sermon. Don't judge me.
What is fascinating is to begin to unpack how a statement like that from childhood has embedded itself into my values as an adult.
Collaboration. Team. Synergy.
They are things that are at the center of this church plant we call C3.
From it's inception, the emphasis at City Campus Church has been about decentralization...about putting discipleship back in the hands of the masses, rather than keeping it for the educated, theological elite to complete and administer. It's low control, but high accountability. It's the priesthood of all believers. It's not church based on the winsome charisma of the lead pastor. It's ordinary, every day folks trying to live into a family on mission.
I don't think the bucket of whiz was in my mind as God was calling us to plant a church, but I do think that this value was so ingrained in me that it couldn't help but weave it's way into the DNA of something I led.
That's the plus side.
The reality is that this same mentality has caused me frustration and pain in ministry. When people over promise and under deliver, I get super frustrated. The bucket's not getting full.
Or when I see the beautiful potential of others and they refuse to see it in themselves. The bucket's not getting full.
I feel disappointment and a sense of betrayal more strongly than I realize. It very well may find it's root in the fact that I have this maxim in my head of how things ought to be.
Ironically, we are planting a church in the context that many have deemed the flakiest generation in history...with passion and uprising one moment and then apathy and lethargy for the next 10 moments.
I say all this not to make a point about buckets or fluids. Nor is it to make a point of why we planted the way we did.
My point is this: As a parent, leader, pastor, influencer, you are creating a culture that will long outlive your life. Be careful what you infuse.
You give your kid everything they want and don't enforce boundaries, then be prepared for their world to crumble when they hear the word NO in the job hunt or go through depression because the real world doesn't want to coddle them and tell them how special they are.
You never have fun with your staff and key leaders, you create a business like, stressed out culture.
If you have a go to slogan or mantra that you always default to saying, make sure it is one that you want embedded in the world around you.
Chaia, in the span of 8 minutes was singing every word to a new song we've been singing at church AND singing every word to All I do Is Win. And it's got me thinking, what a privilege and responsibility it is to create culture in a family, in a church, in a neighborhood!
Enjoy it. Be wise with it! Leverage your influence.
Whatever you do, don't squander it.
Nobody wants a half filled bucket of waste.