I was looking over some old bulletin articles this past week, reminiscing about our time together and I came across this bulletin article called “They’ve got potential.” It was written back in 2011. And I wanted to call your attention to it once again.
“I am not certain if one should feel encouragement or discouragement when someone says, “You’ve got potential.” On one hand, we could say that we should feel encouraged because someone sees in us a semblance of greatness. We should feel a hopeful resurgence in the tasks that we embark upon knowing that we have room to grow. Many “buy” into potential before they would buy something that has reached its potential. Consider stocks for just a moment. If you know that a certain stock has the potential to double your money you would be more inclined to buy into it than a stock that has been stagnant for the last 10 years. I have seen coaches do the same thing. While the “sure” thing has its benefits in the early rounds of a draft, every coach looks for the next Tom Brady in the late rounds. Why? The sure thing can bring security but the one with great potential can have the ability to take you to the next level. The truth is, someone sees potential in every one of us. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whomever believe on him shall not perish but have ever lasting life (John 3:16).” God saw in every man the potential of a soul that could be saved. Jesus in the parable of the sower explained that the seed was spread to men of all sorts of hearts (Matt. 13:1-8). Of course, in that parable each one’s potential was different. Some had very little potential for growth because their hearts were already hardened. Others had little potential because they wouldn’t withstand the trials of every day living. Still some had little potential because they were too concerned with material things. But others had great potential. Their hearts were cultivated and prepared to accept the word. Even among them, the potential differed. Some would produced one hundred fold, others sixty and others thirty. But God sent the word to everyone nonetheless. God sent it in hopes that one’s potential could become one’s reality.
Of course, the scary thing with potential is that sometimes things do not work out the way they should. Vince Lombardi once said, “Potential means you ain’t done nothing yet.” With this mindset, someone saying you have potential can be discouraging. If one has the potential to become a star quarterback that means that right now he is not a star quarterback. If a stock has the potential to double your money, that means that right now your money has not been doubled. If a person has the potential to become a child of God, that means that right now he is not a child of God. If one has the potential to become a mighty servant in the Lord’s vineyard, that means that right now he is not one. You see, potential means nothing if nothing is done to accomplish that potential. I imagine thousands of stocks are purchased every year on “potential” that never amount to anything. I know that hundreds of players are drafted ever year in the NFL, most of which after 2 years are no longer in the league. Why? They failed to meet their potential. You see, potential can only get you so far in life. Eventually you have to follow through with what your employer, your God, etc thought you would accomplish or face the consequences. Take Christ’s parable on the Fig Tree. The land owner kept returning expecting to find fruit upon the tree. Why? Because the land owner planted that seed because it had potential to produce fruits. But, when it failed to meet its potential it was to be cut down (Luke 13:6-9).”
From there I made some personal remarks important to the time of writing. And I would like to do the same concerning where we are today.
If you will notice the volume and issue number of this bulletin you will see that it says Vol. 7 and issue 1. Today marks the 6th anniversary of our time together here in Grinnell. 6 years ago, I moved here with great expectations. 6 years ago I saw great potential in this church. Over the last six years you have showed me why I wanted to be working with you. As you all remember, following my 1st Sunday with you we were hit with a nasty blizzard that left my family stranded in a hotel. On my 2nd Sunday I passed out in the pulpit. You were there helping me and my family. This past yer, as Dawn and I lost our baby you again showed up as our “knights in shining armor.“ Over the past six years you have invited your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc to come to worship services and Gospel meetings. I have never see such good numbers among the visitors of any church I have ever worked with. I was not wrong to see potential in you. But, I will say this, I do not believe that you have reached your fullest potential. There is still room for growth for all of us. Let us make our 7th year together our best year. Let us continue to grow closer to God and closer to each other. Let us continue to meet the potential that I know exists in all of us!- WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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They've Got Potential (Revisited)
Volume 6 Issue 50