The Five Foundation Pillars

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It takes five foundation pillars to create any entity out of nothing.  And in church work sometimes you really do have to start from scratch. You might hope to get some help from outside your church and in some cases, it happens. But it is not likely. You have to accept responsibility for all five in house.


First of all, somebody has got to want to get it done or it simply won’t be done. If all you see are the obstacles and give up trying nothing will happen. You may have to fail more often than you thought in order to learn what you need to know. “No matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.” (Al Gore quoting his father) Motivation has to outlast a few bumps on the road. Strike that. Motivation has to outlast massive craters on the road.


There has got to be a perceived way in which the idea can be brought to reality. There are three questions that must get strong affirmative answers. Can we do this? Will it work if we do it? Can we find the resources necessary to get this done? Confidence builds if you create a realistic timeline with a firm end in mind. If you don’t meet your time goal you can always adjust it. Let the methodology fizzle out and the rest of the foundations will not be strong.


Or to be more PC, person power.  It takes people to make something happen.  The most important person in church life is the lead pastor.  There must be others who have a yearning to get something done as well.  There may be a committee that votes a project into existence.  But there will be one primary leader who sees it through.  That primary leader may not be called Pastor but they occupy the role at the very front of the pack.


Things have to get organized. And they don’t organize themselves. The ideas have to be pushed forward in an organized way. This usually means the leader has to demonstrate skill at creating presentation materials and organizational systems or nothing happens. Often the visionary leader who sees the grand new idea is not the one to sort out how to get it done. Often that prime leader will get frustrated with the ones who want the exact details on how to get it done. They aren’t necessarily negative; they just see details a visionary may not see.


Not much happens without the expenditure of some money.  The money invested may be hidden money in the sense that someone may enter a venture with their own resources of money or time that in other circumstances would require new cash.

However, if all you have is some money to throw at a project that won’t solve the problem. And if you think your primary problem is money you might want to reevaluate. Money has a way of flowing to good ideas repeatedly and passionately expressed. Money won’t create love. And without love in a church there will be no real growth no matter how much you spend.

Gather together a recipe of all five ingredients at once and in balance. But be careful if you think money can buy the other four elements. Maybe money isn’t the real problem.

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