As a Dallas Cowboys fan, it is really hard to acknowledge a player from the New York Giants, one of our biggest divisional rivals, as doing something right. However, the Giants wide-receiver, Odell Beckham (one of the guys who catches the ball, for the non-football readers), made one of the most incredible catches I have ever seen last year. You can watch it here.
So how did Odell do it? Was it luck? I was captivated by his answer in an interview summarized in this Wall Street Journal article. It turns out, Odell, normally right-handed, trains by doing everyday tasks and activities with his non-dominant left hand. He brushes his teeth, opens doors, shakes hands, practices writing his name and shoots baskets - all with his left hand. All this discipline, inconvenience, disruption, and change for what? So he can catch a football better. Wow.
If Odell Beckham is willing to put himself through this left-handed regiment for football, what is worth inconveniencing your team, church, organization, or life? What can we learn from Odell? How do we pursue "left-handed thinking"?
- Our Mission is Worth It. I believe the church has the greatest mission on the planet. So if Odell goes to all that trouble just to catch a football, what are we willing to do to accomplish our mission?
- We Must be Willing to Do What Others are Not. Most simply respond, "Ugh, that is a lot of work." But there are other churches simply willing to work harder. Sadly, we see this division regularly: two fairly identical churches, similar gifts, similar budget, yet one has a sense of urgency while the other does not.
- To Grow, We Need to be Uncomfortable at Times. We can not keep going back to what is safe and easy. If you find yourself at a plateau or in decline, this is probably why.
- To Change, It is Going to Take Time and Real Training. Odell has been at this for years. There is no silver bullet. A new discipline with a real plan takes time. Our teams needs time to train and learn the new plays.
- It is Not Going to Feel Natural (At First). When we first attempt left-handed thinking, it is going to be awkward, slow, and frustrating. We will want to run back to what is natural and easy (but not better). Unfortunately, many churches would rather die a slow death than persevere with new mindsets and growth.
What left handed thinking are you running from? Are you experiencing plateaus or decline in your ministry or life? Are you and your team sold out for the mission? Is it worth it? What left handed thinking will be required to reach this next generation and shift culture?
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.