How Can a Vuvuzela Impact the World?

by Josh Lawson, Mentoring Advocate and Director of Community Engagement at Antioch Community Church

There is an old adage that says, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Or as some pessimists would chide, “The HOLE is greater than the sum of its parts.” As we look around our city, we can see that there are some incredible things happening. One of the main things that we have also noticed is that many of those great things are not working in unison.

The reason is pretty simple: working in unison is messy and it takes time. And many of the people doing these great things are just like me: they are “get-it-done” type of people. They don’t want to talk about doing something; they simply want to do it.

But what happens all too often is that we begin “doing” and we duplicate services, or we take on ministries or events that we aren’t great at. We expend so much energy doing so many things and at the end of the day we are tired and wondering if it’s even working.

If I have learned anything while working in our city it is this simple truth: You have to focus on what you do great AND make the effort to work with others.

It is only when you combine these two that you really begin to see the power of Collective Impact happen.

Several years back during the World Cup hosted by South Africa, the power of Collective Impact took center stage. During each match you could hear a slight droning buzz. And then without warning that buzz would turn into a resounding, earth-shaking roar.

WAAHHHHH…WAAAHHHHH” It sounded like a million bees were swarming our living rooms. What was the culprit? A poor sound system? A mis-feed through the cable provider? Nope. It was the sound of tens of thousands of vuvuzelas being trumpeted in unison by tens of thousands of rabid fans.

One fan playing one vuvuzela made no impact. It’s doubtful it could be heard on the field much less across the globe on television. But tens of thousands of fans blowing their horns as loud as they could muster literally impacted the world.

They each picked up their own vuvuzela, and they joined together for a collective impact.

For our community here in Waco, there are great things happening. And I believe that if we want to see some even greater traction happen, the next step is for each of us to consider what we are great at and FOCUS on doing that with excellence AND join forces with others who are doing incredible work.

josh picThis week’s Act Locally Waco blog post is by Josh Lawson, Director of Community Engagement at Antioch Community Church. One of his passions is mentoring. If you would like to learn more about mentoring in Waco, please visit this website to learn how you can get involved: . If you would be interested in blogging for Act Locally Waco, please email [email protected] to express your interest.


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