I spoke at a conference last year where I told our church’s story about how we were attempting to transform our community. I mentioned that we had started a Boys and Girls Club in our church. During the Q&A after my talk, I was asked, “How many people in your church are actually involved with what you’re doing?” Fair question, and my response was “about 10%.” The questioner acted as if 10% really didn’t count as “the whole church” being involved. Which got me to thinking about spears.
A spear has a sharp point, not a broad blade. Most of the time in churches we think we need a broad blade — lots of people involved in every ministry we start. But, when you really think about it, new ministries mostly are “spear-shaped.” The leading edge of the spear is sharp, pointed, and thin.
Behind that sharp point the spear fans out into a triangle shape. Broader support to give heft to the sharp point of the spear. That’s the way I see innovative ministry — a few people take the lead with the support of a wider group behind them. Every challenge doesn’t need a broad blade; some challenges call for the sharp point of the spear.
So, the next time someone seems to question the legitimacy of a ministry because “everybody” is not involved, remind them of the spear. Sometimes all you need is a sharp point.