The best way to build momentum is to seize opportunities as they appear because quick turnaround tends to build momentum.
Maybe a physics reference might be helpful in our understanding. If you remember anything from your high school physics class, you undoubtedly recall that P = MV is the equation used to discover the moment of an object. Momentum = mass x velocity. Mass if often misunderstood to be about size. Size is actually better measured in volume. Mass is about weight. More mass equals greater potential impact. Momentum is created when mass is fueled by velocity. But speed and velocity are often confused.
Speed refers to the rate at which an object covers distance. A fast-moving object has a high speed and covers a large distance in a period of time; a slow-moving object has a slow speed and covers a small distance in a period of time. Simply stated, speed has no directional component. It is simply how fast something is moving. Velocity is different.
Velocity is directionally aware. In other words, velocity is the rate at which an object changes its position. Imagine someone running in place. While this may result in a frenzy of activity, it would result in zero velocity. Every step would need to go into moving that person further from where they started for it to be velocity. It’s mass, coupled with speed and direction, that creates momentum.
Now let’s draw some parallels for the church.
In the church, mass equals people. Without people, there is no momentum. Mass is a critical component of momentum. We want to increase our mass not for the sake of numbers alone, but for the sake of impact. But mass, as important as it is, will not create momentum on its own. We also need velocity – speed moving in a common direction. That’s why a clear, concise and actionable mission and vision statements are so important. Because when people (mass) move together under God in a common direction (velocity) momentum is developed.
The choice is simple. We can go a million miles an hour in a frenzy of programs and activity and get nowhere, or we can put our collective mass behind a common direction and create some momentum.
Perhaps that is what the author of Hebrews was trying to communicate in Hebrews 12:12-13. I love how Eugene Peterson puts it in the Message translation: “So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.”
Do you want to create momentum? Take a steady grip with tired hands, a firm stance on shaky legs, mark out a straight path for your feet, and then GO FOR IT!