I heard a story this week about Scott Pioli, the General Manager of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. As it goes, he was hired by KC in 2009 and he noticed a tiny scrap of paper in the hallway. He didn’t pick it up nor did he point it out to anyone. Instead, Pioli let his secretary know about it and the two of them made a note of who walked by the paper through the week without picking it up. You see, he wanted to see who paid attention to the little things. You might say that’s ridiculous and ask why he didn’t just pick it up, but the same question could be asked of every other person that walked by it.
We don’t think like this. We love the big things. We love the showmanship, big highlight reel, big grand ideas. Pioli wasn’t about flash, he was about the little things, because he knew that you don’t need to be the Dallas Cowboys with all the glitz and self-aggrandizement to win. You just need to take care of the details and you will succeed. He had been a part of that success with the New England Patriots championship teams of the early 2000’s.
In Luke 16:10, Jesus talks about the very same thing:
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. (NASB)
It seems we want to get caught up on these big things that aren’t going the way we want them to. We want the church (in any scope) to be doing more here or there. But we often don’t want to take care of the “little things” that are within our reach. We don’t look at the things that we personally can do and personally can influence. Instead there are complaints for this need and that need that are large in scope, meanwhile the things under our own responsibility that are relatively small and easy to do, are left at best undone and at worst, done poorly.
There’s nothing wrong with big ideas or THE BIG IDEA, but it’s nothing but high hopes and rainbows without a detailed plan on how to get there. Often knowing the main idea, or larger vision, helps you to see how the “little thing” you’re working on helps that. Other times, spending too much time feeling good for having said idea, keeps you from executing the steps to get there.
If you’re a good leader, you realize that you can pick up the small scrap of paper. You’re not above that. But is that the best use of your time? Are you being paid to lead or to do something that really anyone could do? Sometimes you have to pick up the scrap to show others that you can do it and how to do it. Other times, people just want you to pick it up because “Hey, we’re paying him/her the ‘big bucks’.”
Relish people that lead well and free them up to do what they’re supposed to be doing. Praise, thank, and celebrate people that follow well and never forget to let them know how vital they are to you being able to lead. Teamwork is key and every action you do either supports the team or takes away from the team. It’s true in life, relationships, work, and church.
If you feel like you aren’t accomplishing “big things” for God, ask yourself if you’ve been faithful in the “little things” that He’s already entrusted you with? If you can’t handle little money, little jobs, little power, do you think he will entrust you with more of everything?