Something I learned about ministry while watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies (London 2012)

Some things I learned from the Opening Ceremonies:

  • Great Britain is proud of their health care system.
  •  James Bond really does know the Queen (who does have a sense of humor!)


  • Mary Poppins can do in a few minutes what took Harry Potter many years and many movies to accomplish.
  •  The Industrial Revolution is very important in British history.
  • Mr Bean can play the piano.


I walk away smiling at some of these things, and scratching my head at others.

The biggest WOW for me was to learn that the entire show cost more than $42 million.  Don’t get me wrong, forging the Olympic was impressive.  The hill turned out to be pretty cool too.  I enjoyed the fireworks display, and the copper leaves turning into the Olympic flame was very cool.  But I learned something else.

Being from ‘across the pond,’ I don’t think I fully understood some of the elements of the show (like the giant baby, or the hospital bed trampolines).  And I am not alone.  I read many articles the following day expressing the same lack of understanding.

For me, one of the highlights was Mr Bean playing the piano in the orchestra.  As I read different news columns and watched the twitter feed, over and over I saw I was not alone in counting the “Chariots of Fire” bit among the best elements of the entire show.

Considering $42 million for the total event, I would imagine the Mr Bean scene would account for very little of the total.  But yet it was one of the highlights.  So what else did I learn?

Money does not guarantee success.  If you have read many of my other posts and thoughts, you know that I often relate my thoughts to the church world of ministry.  The ministry with the most money is not always the most successful.   While it is true, more money can buy a giant baby, but if that baby confuses people, then was it successful?

I am like many people, and often wonder what it would be like to have more money to do bigger things.  The Opening Ceremony made me stop and think.  It would be better to have more Mr Bean aspects of ministry than giant babies and industrial revolutions.  Not only was Mr Bean cheaper, he was also more effective and more memorable.  That is important in ministry.  Do people walk away thinking about what they just saw/heard?  Success does not always follow money.  I say stop focusing on the money and big shows of the church down the street and start focusing on your strengths and gifts and push forward to be successful with what you have, and not worry about what you don’t have.

I have a feeling God has given you everything you need to be successful when ministering to the people/kids in your care.  Do your best where you are with what you have, and leave the giant babies to the Opening Ceremonies.

What do you think?  How does money (or lack of) affect your ministry?  What did you think of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics?  


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