Sparking Creativity: Creating Abundance
Sparking Creativity: Creating Abundance

The following information is from the fascinating book, A Beautiful Constraint: How to Transform Your Limitations into Advantages, and Why It’s Everyone’s Business by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden. (Wiley 2015)

Every congregation I go to has a list of things they have to do or want to do that they just can’t do because they don’t have the resources – money, volunteers, energy, space, whatever it is. And although it’s good to have dreams that you need to stretch for, constantly feeling short of resources can also be demoralizing.

Maybe it’s time to change your framing so that you can create abundance.

As Morgan and Barden say, we nearly always have more resources available to us than we initially think. Our habitual ways of thinking about resources blind us to opportunities within easy reach. When we learn to look around and see things in a new way, available abundance is everywhere.

The key is to stop thinking of resources only as those we control, and start thinking of them as those we can access.

What do your stakeholders/members/participants bring? What do your external partners/wider community bring? What do resource owners/local government/businesses/wealthy benefactors/nonprofits around you bring? What about resource sharing with those with whom you think you don’t agree and can’t work, like the conservative congregation in town?

Can you only have ministry if you hire your own full time minister? Can you only find a place to meet if you rent or own your own spaces? Can you only make a difference in your community if you invent and lead your own initiative? Or can these all be shared, borrowed, collaborated, combined? And what sort of relationships and connections towards the common good will result if you do?

On the flip side, if you have resources, how are you sharing them? What abundance are you sitting on that will make all the difference to your partners?

You may remember the story of the Stone Soup that was made when everyone contributed a little something to the pot. From just a stone, everyone in town was fed. How can your congregation foster and grow relationships, and create abundance at the same time?

About the Author

  • Rev. Megan Foley serves as Regional Lead for the Central East Region staff. Before joining regional staff she served for six years as the minister of the Sugarloaf Congregation of Unitarian Universalists in Germantown, Maryland. Megan is working on a Doctor of Ministry in Public Theology degree...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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