Have you ever played a board game with a child?
My son loves to play “Candy Land.” The game is simple enough to play: draw a card with a colored square on it, then move your token to the next square that is the indicated color. By doing so, you advance around the board until you reach the “King Kandy’s Palace.” The first person to reach the palace is the winner.
However, every time we set up to play, my son wants to start with his piece advanced ahead of mine. He doesn’t want to place his token at “Start;” he wants to win, so he frequently gives himself a generous head start. However, we all know you can’t start a game from the middle; you must begin at the starting line.
The situation is similar when you consider the presence of the three colors in your life. Doing so helps you determine your strengths and weaknesses (your “starting point”) so that you can map out the appropriate path for growth.
The process is simple enough:
Are you lacking power?
Strengthen your spiritual gifts.
Is commitment your weakness?
Relate your gifts to concrete services.
Have you done this and still find your ministry is not as fruitful as you would like it to be?
Strive for more wisdom. (The 3 Colors of Ministry, p. 21)
If you are feeling incompetent and concerned that you are not up for the task, here’s the good news: God can – and does! – use imperfect people. He does not rebuke us for our weaknesses, but instead acknowledges our strengths. That is, He starts by appreciating and affirming our color/dimension of strength before He gently compels us examine areas in which we may be weak. To put it in the terminology of our three-color diagram, God wants to grow our colors of weakness, drawing us ever closer to the center – into a better understanding of and closer relationship with Him.
If we look to the Bible, we see examples of characters that had different strengths and weaknesses:
- “Doubting Thomas” was strong in wisdom (John 14:5-6), but weak in power and commitment (John 20:25-28).
- Martha (sister to Lazarus and Mary) was strong in commitment/service (Luke 10:38-42), but weak in power (John 12:2-3) and wisdom (Luke 10:39-42).
- Mary (sister to Lazarus and Martha) was strong in power (John 12:3; Luke 10:39), yet was weak in commitment and wisdom.
- Moses was strong in commitment and wisdom (Acts 7:22); however he was weak in power (Exodus 4:10; Exodus 17:10-13; Exodus 18).
- Peter was strong in power and commitment (Matthew 14:28; Matthew 26:69-75), yet weak in wisdom (John 18:10-11).
- Jonah was strong in wisdom (Jonah 3:5) and power (Jonah 1:16), but weak in commitment (Jonah 1:3).
While each of these characters had deficiencies, God was able to grow them, moving them ever closer to the center of the color diagram. However before you, yourself can be grown, you must determine your starting point. If you aren’t sure where to begin, the self-evaluation in The 3 Colors of Ministry book (pp. 34-37) can be of help. (This can also be found on pp. 38-40 pages in The 3 Colors of Your Gifts.)
Are you ready to grow more? Are you prepared to give yourself an honest evaluation and determine areas in which God can bring you closer to the center? My friend, it’s time to approach the starting line . . . God is waiting for you there!