Don’t Be A Bloated Caterpillar

Recently I sent out a message letting you know that Brighten A Corner Ministry needs to change in order to survive.

This is not a bad thing. It is a reflection both of the growth of the ministry and changes in the personal lives of the leadership team–primarily mine. When the ministry began years ago the projects were much smaller and the economy was much bigger. I could pay for most things myself.

However, since that time the economy has imploded and I have added a third child–with special needs–to the dynamics of my family. For those reasons I can no longer carry the same proportion of the ministry I once did.

We have a great leadership team in place. But in order to move forward the leadership team must spend time developing clarity about who we are and how we do what we do. Before I tell you what we are working on, I want to share a story that I shared with the team at our last meeting:

Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

Instead of becoming a beautiful butterfly flying freely, the lack of struggle made it a bloated caterpillar.

We want to be butterflies. We want the same for you.

In order to move forward to a future that is brighter than a past that has been wonderful, we are doing the following:

  • We are pursuing getting our own 501(c)3 status, and by 2013 will likely no longer be under the umbrella of New Life Community Church. We are incredibly grateful to Pastor Ron Salsbury for his support over the years, and will still be at New Life with booths promoting the ministry and projects, but changes in the administrative staff at the church over the years have made it clear it is time to move on. This is a change we have been encouraged to make by many people over the years that I have not wanted. I prefer to be in the safe New Life nest, but it is time to spread our wing and fly. I am actually getting quite excited about it!
  • We will be adding a person to the leadership team. The actual conversations have not been finalized, so I can’t give out the name, but our forth coming independence requires us to have a CFO for the ministry. Honestly, none of us on the team are particularly gifted in that area, so we need another skill set. Be praying that the person God has laid on our hearts to do this will agree that God is calling them!
  • We will not look at another project until our foundation is established and we have $20,000 in our account. We will need to reprint promotional materials, we need a promotional video, we are working with an attorney to secure our non profit status…etc. For the first time in nearly a decade, we need to invest sizable (for us) money into things that are not projects or fund raisers.  However, we will be wise stewards. Excellence demands professionalism, and we need to go to the next level with this in order to move forward.
  • BAND TOGETHER 2013 will happen. It was a fabulous event that had the WOW!! factor we need for an annual event. We are extremely confident that it will be a huge fund raiser for us in the years to come. Your help would be enormously appreciated. We are looking at possibilities and should have details soon. Please pray about being a part. If you love the ministry and want to see it continue, we need you here–supporting BAND TOGETHER–with the love and generosity that you bring to projects.
  • We will be looking for ways for some volunteers to help with a bit more background of the ministry and insight to what we do. We have a “board” of 5, but we would love to have a “team” of many who not only serve at projects but can help us engage volunteers at projects in ways that are more effective and efficient. We are still processing what this looks like, but pray about it, would you? Would you like to help more? Would you like to grow in service to the Lord? Perhaps this is a place…

“And I will bless you, and make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you.” Genesis 12:2-3

We are claiming this for Brighten A Corner. We are excited about God’s work in us and through us. We pray this verse for all those who step up in the next few months to support us through this transition. It is not going to be easy. It is not supposed to be easy. We will not be bloated caterpillars.

We. Will. Fly.