Whether it’s building relationships, a team, a new business, or a new church, there is a certain process that takes place in doing so. Understanding this overall process is extremely interesting and beneficial in many regards.
Recently, I watched a program on the special dynamics and ins-and-outs of constructing a very large skyscraper in China. It was interesting to learn that at the foundational level of the building, the workers primarily used scaffolding as the main method of building from the ground up.
Scaffolding itself must be constructed to enable the building of the actual building. It’s an important tool and step in the process. The scaffolding goes up quickly and easily, allowing the work of building to move forward. From a distance, the scaffolding can be so extensive and prominent that it’s hard to see the actual building that’s being put together. At certain moments, it’s even easy to visually confuse the scaffolding with what is actually the building.
Scaffolding, as important and valuable as it is, is not permanent nor the actual building. At some point, the scaffolding must be removed for work to continue, and at higher levels, scaffolding is rarely used at all. As the scaffolding is removed, the real building is revealed. At first it seems a bit naked, smaller, and vulnerable, but the real building is finally revealed and further construction is enabled to move forward.
What’s interesting is that whether it be in building a skyscraper, relationships, a team of players, or a church, there are people who turn out to be the “building” and those who turn out to be the “scaffolding.” There are some who serve a more temporary role like scaffolding, and those who serve a more permanent role, like the actual building.
Neither one is necessarily better than the other, just different.
What’s important is to understand that not everybody in your relationship life, team, or as you build a church (or business) is going to be permanent kind of people. Second, when the scaffolding type of people distance themselves, fall away, or move onto others things, it’s important to understand that 1) it’s part of the building process 2) it feels uncomfortable, weird, and even hurts when it happens 3) it looks like things are moving backward when in fact things are moving forward 4) it better exposes and reveals who the building type people are in your life, team, business venture or church plant.
When the scaffolding type people come and go in your life, try to resist taking it personally and even trying to explain their temporary stay. Scaffolding people serve an important role and purpose in your life, team, business, or church plant. Enjoy their presence, praise their value, and celebrate them when they move on, as much as possible. However, try not to be too surprised when scaffolding type people do what all scaffolding people do (often sooner than later)… move on.
Furthermore, appreciate the builders that become revealed as the scaffolding detaches. Nurture them, thank them, invest in them, and inspire them as you build the future with them. These are the people who are truly “with” you, the life long friendships, the team players who will be their through the winning and losing seasons no matter what. These are the people you build with and build upon. These are the ones you draw closer and allow more influence in your life, business, team, or church plant.
As God builds your relationship life, business, team, or church plant, He will use different people in different types of ways. Trust God to show the differences.