The Power of Caged Momentum

September 23rd, 2011

There is an important leadership and life principle I have learned the hard way. When you get a brilliant idea, before you quickly rush to complete it, sleep on it. In that same vein, I think there's value in making a group of excited people wait, rather than rushing into things. Let me illustrate with a practical example.

Launching Grace Community Church was an 18-month process from the time I agreed to obey God’s encouragement to start a new church. (I had resisted his encouragement for ten years, but that’s another post.) After we recruited our core team, we asked them to wrestle in prayer months before we had our first meeting or they even officially committed to the vision; then we made them wait nine months before we ever met as a church. Waiting to implement God’s vision for excited people inclined inclined towards progress was difficult, but the result proved an important principle about human dynamics and organizational development. (That’s a fancy way of saying "waiting sucked, but it worked…")

In a similar fashion, although we knew small groups would be a major part of our mission, we did “test” groups with a few people for months before we allowed the entire church to join a group. We used that time to train leaders, but it also served the purpose to generate enthusiasm among those who had to wait to get in a group.

The principle at work here is what I call The Power of Caged Momentum

Telling a person or a group of people to wait for something they really want to do and are excited about builds positive momentum. Of course, there is always the balance between waiting too long and losing the opportunity and moving so fast that you don’t build enough momentum. I can’t solve that for you in a simple post. Your situation and experience will be unique to you, but the principle here is important.

Don’t be afraid to make your church, organization or team (or even your family) wait before they get to experience something great. The power of caged momentum may even make the experience and outcome better.

 Have you seen this principle at work? Let us hear your story!


Ron Edmondson is Lead Pastor of Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tenn.
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