We often talk about the spark of an idea igniting into a flame – in fact, in 2 Timothy 1:6 we are actively encouraged to “fan into flame the gift of God.”
But what happens to that flame once it’s alight? Of course it may fizzle out completely, but it could also set the whole world on fire. One tiny candle is enough to set a whole bonfire aglow without diminishing in strength. Isn’t that amazing?
So what’s the point that we’re getting at here? On 23rd April, applications close for our Project Lab competition. Each year, we look for small, grass-roots social action projects that want to share their work for the benefit of others across the UK.
Share Your Flame
Two winners will receive a development grant of £30k and a place on the Cinnamon Project Incubator where they’ll get support from industry leaders to develop their initiative, so that it can be replicated through other churches.
Every year we get last-minute entries from projects who think they are too small, too young and too niche to have a chance of winning. And every year some of those projects are surprised by the way God takes their candle of project and starts lighting hope in communities across the country.
In 2016, a tiny organisation called Renew Wellbeing applied for Project Lab. They were a small, new initiative supporting individuals with mental illness in just one church. They went on to be joint winners of Project Lab 2016, and just last month they opened their 28th franchise!
It’s All God’s, Anyway
When it comes to sharing the good thing you’ve got going on in your church, you might hear that little voice saying that you’re too small and that you need to protect what you’ve built. But God tells us something else.
God tells us that with him, we can do far more than we could ever imagine – Ephesians 3:20.
And if we think hard enough about it, then we’ll realise that all those good things we’re trying to keep to ourselves belong to God anyway. “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it” – Deuteronomy 10:14.
We can easily become like the child who won’t share their chips with the adult who bought them in the first place! God won’t steal, he won’t force, but the fact is he wants your chips, your ideas and that great social action project your church is running.