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Staying Dynamic in Children’s Ministry – #6 When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Grape Juice!

(image taken from Zazzle.com)

You can find out more about this series here.

6. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Grape Juice!

One of my favorite shows for a while was Whose Line Is It Anyway? You remember? It was orginally a British show but like all good shows was co-opted by US networks. (Since living in Canada, I’ve found that many US shows were once BBC shows.) Drew Carey would host a group of special guest contestants on this improvisational acting game show. They created characters, scenes and songs on the spot. One of my favorite games was props. The contestants were given a box of props and had to come up with mini-scenes/uses for that used the props. The challenge was that the props were mostly ridiculous items that had no real use to them, and the actors made up uses for them rather humorously.

Here’s an example of the game… watch and enjoy!

Too many times we stay static and do not change or adapt because we “need something we don’t have” in order to move forward or change. We look around us and are discouraged by the lack of that one tool or volunteer or, let’s be honest, toy that we don’t have that will make it possible for us to go to the next level.

Then there are other times where we hesitate on trying something new or ridiculous or “impossible” because it is… impossible. Again, we don’t have the right tools, people, or enough money or the qualifications to do “that.”

We are asked to or want to or dream about making grape juice, yet when we look around us all we see is lemons. We get focused on what we don’t have. The key to staying dynamic in these situations is simple to take those lemons, make grape juice, and let the world wonder at how you did it.

How do we make grape juice from lemons? Well, it’s easier than you think. You simply need to be OK with failing.


Yes. Be OK with failing. By that, I mean you need to take on the attitude of an experimenter. (OK, experimenter isn’t really a word in your world, but in mine it is!) When scientists formulate experiments, they formulate them to fail. Experimenting isn’t about proving something right; it’s about trying to prove something wrong. I know that might mess with what you’ve assumed about experimentation, but it’s true. I digress, though… When you take on the attitude of an experimenter, you take a look at what you do have rather than at what you don’t have. You try and see how what you have can be used to reach your desired outcome. You also try and see how what you have can be used to accomplish something even better than your desired outcome. Then, you go out and try it: you experiment! If you fail, that is OK. You simply go back and retool, repurpose and retry. You keep trying until you discover something that does work.

In doing all of this, it is crucial to get input and assistance from others. Build a network of people who can cheer you on, resource you, and give you constructive feedback as you strive to be dynamic.

Lemons don’t turn into grape juice instantly. It takes some finagling, a lot of failures and a bit of luck. If you keep at it, you might even make something better than grape juice (I hate grape juice anyway). You could make a chocolate cheesecake… now, that would be heavenly.

What are some ways you’ve created something new with “limited resources?” What are strategies you’ve used to prevent the “I-can’t-do-it-because-I-don’t-have-the-resources” attitude?

You can check out other parts to this series:
#1. Creative Space
#2. Cross-Train
#3. Question Everything
#4. Be Involved in Your Community
#5. Futurecast
#7. It’s Not About You
#8. The Holy Spirit is Your Friend

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