It’s been a month since I got the phone call to say our sparkly new premises that we had just moved into, housing our Freedom Church offices, Romsey Foodbank and CAP Debt Centre, would have to be vacated within 28 days!
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement… you can read more about the experience here
So, in the last month, myself and other members of our team, with incredible support from local agencies, businesses and councils have scoured the local area for empty shops, warehouse units, garages and garden sheds… but nothing was working out.
I had already been praying pretty hard for a new premises, but with six days to go I started praying at a whole new level, so when my phone vibrated right in the middle of my prayers I knew it must be the answer! I checked my screen and yes, it was a local business owner wanting to know if we might be interested in their empty office space, bit of a mess, needed some work doing, but they weren’t using it and the bonus? We could have it for free.
Nervously, as time was not our friend, some of us went to have a look and although it needed a LOT of work we decided that we could make this work. From the moment on the Thursday where we agreed to make the move (to be honest, we didn’t have a lot of options in front of us!), we got the place repainted, recarpeted, toilets replaced by the following Monday morning. There is still work to be done, but we have a new home for at least the next two years, from which we can get on with what we were meant to be doing in the first place.
I have learnt a lot through this recent challenge as a leader, but four key things that stand out for me:
1. People are AMAZING
What can be achieved by a group of people, who are focussed on a task and willing to do anything to make something happen is incredible. The speed with which we have turned the space around is a testament to the power of people working together as a team, who believe in something enough that they will give up their time, money and energy to make anything work.
2. Discover what is REALLY important
We have to be prepared to do what needs to be done in the short term, for the sake of the bigger dream. Life was never meant to be easy and finding a permanent home for Freedom Church and the Romsey Foodbank is not proving easy. It really is an Adventure!
But when you watch the TV Show ‘Grand Designs’ people will often live in a caravan in cramped conditions on the site of their new home, putting up with mild discomfort as they know it is only temporary while their new dream home is being built.
Our new home is only temporary, providing basic accommodation that will keep us hungry for finding a better, more permanent solution, which is going to be a Grand Design.
3. The importance of staying focussed
It is so easy to get distracted and discouraged by challenging situations, but things that sway you to the right or left are taking you off course and are not your friend. As a leader you need to stay focussed and not let annoying little cockroaches put you off the grander vision.
4. God really does provide all our NEEDS
It may be slightly smaller than what we want, but it will provide what we need and thats ok. We need to be satisfied with the provision of today, even though it is not what we have been promised in the future.
Learning to get the balance right of living satisfied with what God gives us, but to continue pursuing him for greater things is going to be a life long lesson…
I’m loving this Year of Adventure (mostly!) – cant wait to see what the next challenge might be!