Here’s a fascinating experience that each of us could consider this week.

Early in a Leadership Retreat, each of us received a pencil. Some pencils were long, some thick and some thin. Some were colored, others black.  Some even had erasers. The reality was individually they would write and the colored ones could do art work with beautiful colors. They all have come common characteristics. They are inexpensive to buy.  In fact an online check and I could pick up the least expensive ones for 14 cents each.

Our assignment was to break our brand new pencils into two pieces. With a collective crack we all broke our pencil in two making even the colorful ones shorter and the shorter ones next to useless. As a group we talked and learned about the power of working alone or together. We listened and shared many Biblical and personal illustrations of individual plans that had failed or were de-railed.

Several hours later the Instructor passed out another assignment. He gave each of us ten pencils. The difference was each pencil was in a package of ten bound together with an elastic band. A simple elastic held them together. The very simple yet impossible challenge was to break the new package in two similar to the earlier assignment. Of course, none of us could complete the assignment.

Here’s the point and the key for the day. The individual pencils represent each of us. The elastic represents the Vision, Mission and Values of your church/organization or team. The individual who stands alone is weak.  The group, committee or team that works together is much more effective in change, leadership and accountability.

In your team, committee or task force meeting this week, consider whether you are following a Biblical principle? “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV)

This week, let’s pray for Biblical wisdom as we work as to accomplish God’s will.

Yours in Service:

Laurie D. Kennedy

Leadership Coach

Author of Leadership Is … Devotions for Servant Leaders