1. Everyone Needs A Friend
Time and time again, big fish in this enchanting Disney documentary were in the company of smaller fish sidekicks. Sometimes the little fish had peculiar jobs like cleaning teeth. Others just seemed to be along for the ride. I even saw one fish swim into the gills of a shark (now that’s a friend who sticks closer than a brother – yikes!). Regardless, the big fish didn’t swim alone. The same is true in ministry. You may be the big fish, the person in charge, the decision maker. Don’t swim alone. Have a sidekick friend that will help you with those dirty jobs. Someone who will be there for you when you need to swim in silence for a bit. It’s a big ocean. You don’t want to get lost out there all by yourself.
2. Who Knew Birds Could Do that?
I knew birds dive underwater to get food (although, based on the youtube videos I just browsed, not many other people are aware of this fact. Case in point: “Suicidal Ducks” video), but the birds in this stunning scene were swimming just as well as the fish. Check out the trailer and see. They transition straight from the sky to the sea with no problems at all. I had no idea they could do that!
As Children’s Ministry workers, we often underestimate the abilities of our volunteer team as well. We think we “have to do it all” in order to get it done right. We have our volunteers pigeon-holed (a little bird humor for you) and don’t think about what amazing abilities might be just below the surface. Let’s allow them to stretch their wings a little, above the water or below. Ask them to do something completely out of their “normal” duties or open up a night for suggestions (and actually listen!). You may be quite surprised at the diversity in your own nest
3. Stay Out of the Danger Zone
In one scene, a whole swarm of little fish were swimming in the wake of a shark. The narrator explains that sticking so close makes their swimming easier, even though the shark could turn and eat them at any moment (just doesn’t seem worth it to me). How many times have we put the life of our kid’s program on the line for the sake of making the job a little easier? Do we flirt with danger by becoming prideful, lazy, or mediocre because it’s easier to “keep swimming” than to fight against the current of sin?
4. Only 1 in 1,000
Did you know that only 1 in 1,000 sea turtles make it to the ocean unscathed? And yet, that is enough to repopulate the species. Amazing. In the same way, not every one of our ministry ideas has to be the next “Big Idea”. Perhaps if only 1 in 1,000 made it to the sea of fruition, it would still be enough to propel the ministry forward. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself! It’s okay to get a few ideas picked off by seagulls (naysayers) and a few eaten alive by giant fish (the ones that have lived in the ocean forever). It only takes one great idea to transform a ministry. One in a thousand perhaps. Keep moving ahead. The right idea will make it through.
5. Don’t be Like the Seahorse
There is a sea horse that will never move out of 10 foot radius. Its entire life. It is born in a garden of sea weed and it will die in that same cluster of plants. Why? Apparently its frail little body can’t handle the change. If he were to drift 11 feet from his home base, he’d be sleeping with the fishes (if you know what I’m saying). Don’t be like the sea horse. Don’t get stuck in the way things have always been. Don’t be afraid to venture out a bit into the big blue. You can always come back and regroup. Take a few chances. You might be surprised at what there is to discover.