Plumb Lines: Build on Islands of Strength

This post is part of series called Plumb Lines where Larry Osborne shares guidelines on how articulating certain “ministry plumb lines” can make decision making a snap, and can make sure that teams are in alignment with the greater mission. To start this series from the beginning, go to the Plumb Lines Intro post.

Hear what Larry has to say about the next plumb line, Build on Islands of Strength.

So plumb lines, the “rules of the road” that make most decisions a snap and help keep us on track. I’ve got another one for you, as I’ve been walking through some of the ones we use here at North Coast. And one of the ones we use is build on islands of strength. We believe we ought to feed success, and starve failure, and we also believe that whatever God has called us to do, he’s probably gifted us to do.

Now this little plumb line has helped us avoid the trap of finding all the things we’re not very good at, and spending all of our energy to somehow become gifted at it. There’s often, in ministry circles, this idea that we need to be balanced. Ironically, you will not find the word balanced anywhere in Scripture, and you’ll pretty much find every movement of God, and every powerfully used leader of God was rather out of balance.

Now we don’t want to be so out balance that we fall over, but really, where God is at work, things tend to be a little quirky, because the body of Christ is a truth. It’s not a theory. It’s a truth, and God has made some of us ears, and you know what? Ears don’t see very well. He’s made some of us eyes, and eyes are not very well at picking things up, and we, (each one of us and each individual ministry) has to figure out what God has gifted us to do, so that we can figure out what he has called us to do.

And we use this little plumb line, build on islands of strength, to help us understand what we are going to say a strong yes to, and what we are going to say no to, despite the fact that, for instance, every other ministry is doing it, or that a need exists out there.

Build on islands of strength is such a powerful way for us to know what God is calling us to do, because in each and every individual discussion of
“Should we do this? Shouldn’t we do that?” without the plumb line, what I tend to dial in to is a couple of things.

  1. Is the need genuine?
  2. Do we have the skill set or ability to meet it?

But once again, that’s really the wrong question, because the needs out there are endless, and there are a ton of things we can do.

In fact, temptation often comes disguised as opportunity. So this one works great for us. I don’t know if it’ll work great for you, but I do find, in a lot of places, if we would learn the principle that the body of Christ is a Biblical reality and a life reality, not just a theological construct, we would then build on islands of strength, and when we do, it’s amazing what God is able to pull off.

This video is part of the Plumb Lines series available for free on YouTube, To watch the video, click below.