Wordsmith: Scalability

I love Thanksgiving. It is by far my favorite holiday; good food and all-day football in the fall, what more could you want? Everyone I know does this holiday a little differently; for me, personally, I snack all day long, I don’t know if there’s a point of the day where I stop eating. If I go about Thanksgiving any other way it is less than enjoyable for me. This is an unusual tactic as the rest of my family puts on their fat pants and go to town, enjoying every moment before they pass out in a glorious turkey coma.

This was the best, non-business example I had for the term “scalability”. Those fat pants (that we all have) usually have some sort of stretchable material in them to accommodate you, even if your size increases. Brand-new blue jeans or slacks don’t have that same give, they won’t easily accommodate growth, but yoga pants or sweats will easily grow to fit you, regardless of your size.

Scalability (adj) the capability of a system, network, or process to handle a growing amount of work, or its potential to be enlarged in order to accommodate that growth.

Jesus, as he was calling his people to himself, knew that the movement of God would grow, eventually reaching remote areas of the earth. Can we just take a moment to recognize the genius of Jesus? Instead of starting with the large crowds, spending an enormous amount of time and energy trying to meet and get to know each person, he started with a core: 12 men. Jesus knew that a strong core, no matter how small, was vital to any successful movement. Once the foundation, the disciples, was solid, the rest of the church could be built upon them.

How many times do we do the exact opposite of Jesus? In our society, it’s so easy to focus on quantity over quality. We want our business or blog or small group or church or venture to take off immediately, but I’m beginning to think that failure in these instances can be a blessing from God. When policies and procedures or structure or character isn’t in place, exponential growth would end up being a detriment.

We ask for growth and pray for God to “enlarge our tents” or “bless us abundantly”, but how often have we prayed that without preparing for growth? 

What if we prayed those same prayers but then worked as if the growth we prayed for was a sure thing? What if we prepared our character, our business model, our communication, our schedule, relationships, etc. to accommodate the growth we are praying for? I wonder what our world would look like if we actively participated in our lives and dreams instead of passively leaving them up to God. Don’t get me wrong, we can do nothing apart from God, but I wonder how much more he would trust us with if we had the faith to prepare for the fulfillment of a promise.

In what areas of your life are you asking for growth? What’s a practical step you can take to get ready for that growth? What can you do today, this week, this month, to adequately prepare yourself to appropriately accommodate growth?

I look forward to growing with you!

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