Recently I was reminded of the movie “What About Bob”. If you have not seen it, it stars Bill Murray as a benign mental patient who is convinced that the only way to get help is to always be near his doctor – played by Richard Dreyfuss. Murray ends up following Dreyfuss on a family vacation and eventually drives the doctor insane with his antics. It’s a funny movie.
However, this was not intended to be a movie review blog, so I’d best get to my point.
One of the techniques that the doctor uses to try to help Murray is what he calls “baby steps”. The idea being that in order to get better, Murray needs to focus on doing a few little things “normally” and then build from there.
I think this principle is applicable in virtually every area of life. Author Steven Covey often speaks of making promises to yourself which you can keep. Then, when you keep those promises it gives you confidence to try new things. However, most of us want to accomplish everything all at once and often get discouraged when we don’t see immediate results.
I think this often applies to our efforts for the kingdom of God. We see the incredible need in the world – or any given situation – and feel compelled (often by the Holy Spirit) to make a difference. However, if we don’t have a plan in place that includes manageable steps and set out to tackle the whole problem all at once, we often don’t accomplish things as quickly as we would like to, become discouraged and give up.
This is one way that Sixteen:Fifteen can help local churches with their missions’ endeavors – by helping them to determine what are the manageable next steps and what short-term goals to aim at. By successfully completing these “baby steps”, the church then gains the confidence to take the next steps and the successes begin to build upon themselves until the ultimate goal is realized.