BY R.A. WEIGEL, EDD, CPCC, and CCNI PRESIDENT
Most references to the idea called capacity building are used to describe the need for an improvement in
an organization’s capability for performance, economic development, social impact, or processes needed
to survive, adapt, progress against the competition, or accomplish something that has not yet been possible. For example, it might be said that NASA needs capacity building in order to send people to the planet Mars. It may be something they want to do, but currently, they are missing the people and things in their current capacity to make it happen.
Capacity building will occasionally include the idea of an individual who needs to develop certain skills,
improve knowledge, or grow in some ability in order to operate with a new attitude, mindset, or set of
skills in order to reach some new or currently unattainable level of performance. Capacity building also
includes strengthening the competencies and abilities of groups or teams so they can overcome the
barriers that prevent them from reaching their vision and goals.
Now, consider the following.
2 Corinthians 3:5 (GNT) – There is nothing in us that allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work. The capacity we have comes from God.
The Greek word hikanotés (capacity), in that verse, is also translated sufficiency, competence, ability,
power, qualification, or fitness. It is only used once in the scriptures which makes it stand out and
significant. For you, as a Christian, capacity building comes from the unlimited power of God for you to
develop certain skills, improve knowledge, or grow in some ability in order to operate with a new attitude, mindset, or set of skills in order to reach some new or currently unattainable level of performance. God’s ability to build capacity in you is without limit. What limits you – is you!
Capacity varies from person to person. For example, some people can get by on five to six hours of sleep
while others require seven to eight. What about your current ability to write, coach, influence, use your
time, be organized, comprehend, research, exercise, or get things done? Can your capacity in those things change? Yes, they can, but not without some effort, time, and sacrifice – and not without asking God to increase your capacity. (It always works better when you have a Christian coach walking alongside you.)
I’ve had the privilege to be around some incredibly talented highly capable people in my life. They stood
out because of their capacity for communication, kindness, performing, prayer, writing, business, healing, directing, teaching, orchestrating, and much more. Not one of those individuals was born with that capacity, but over time and practice, (and with God’s help), they developed an ability to do more than others. Capacity building begins with a personal decision and a spiritual purpose for the development of yourself to overcome obstacles that currently inhibit or stifle you from reaching new levels of personal growth, attainment, skill, or sustainable results. In other words, if you really want to be better at something than you are right now, you’re going to have to make a decision to commit to change, and then you need to include the prayers that ask God to increase your capacity.
Several years ago I had the privilege to do weekly professional development for a Christian school. It was
during that time I began saying to them, “Christ in you is a reason to do more – not an excuse to do less.” That phrase came about because, despite the ongoing training, nearly everyone was more interested in staying the same. They had no desire to increase their capacity for instruction, assessment, working together, communication, or the skills related to becoming a more highly qualified teacher. They were content despite their continued complaints that they wanted something different. Many people will say that they want something to be different, but when the time comes to increase their capacity, they either don’t believe they can improve, or they think it’s someone else’s responsibility. You can’t improve capacity through wishful thinking or blaming others.
Building capacity begins with a deliberate decision that’s followed by purposeful prayer. Capacity
building begins with believing that you have an unlimited God that you can trust for the right results –
even if those results aren’t always what you think they should be. Capacity building is also being honest
about how God has made you. For example, if you’re five feet nothing – your capacity to dunk a
basketball might be possible, but highly unlikely.
If at the present, you can only execute one project with excellence, then limit yourself to one project to
begin. Then, ask God for the insights you need to add to your current ability to help you to do a little
more. Start by finding the places in God’s word that back up what it is you’re trying to do and then ask
him to increase your capacity to do more. God wants to teach you if you’ll let him.
Psalm 143:10 (NLT) – Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me
forward on a firm footing.
Is there a way to build your capacity at work, at home, and in relationships? Yes, indeed! Start by being
faithful to your current responsibilities. Consider what you’re doing right now that aligns with God’s
will. Consider how you’re serving others and using the talents God has gifted to you for the purposes that God has outlined in his word. When you’re faithful in the things you already have on your plate and feel you’re ready for more, that’s when you pray for God to increase your capacity.
Luke 16:10 (NLT) – If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are
dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.
Stewarding a small amount of money on a budget empowers you to be trusted with more resources.
Treating one individual with a full complement of grace and truth empowers you to build relational
capacity for more quality friendships. Using the time you’ve been gifted by God to do things for his glory
will empower you to increase your capacity to use time more effectively. Coaching a few people with the
love of God in your heart will prepare you to coach more people in ways that change the world for the
better. Following through on assignments, projects, correspondence, and the things you said you would
do – well, that’s where the rubber meets the road. If you said you’re going to do something and you don’t
do it, then perhaps you’re not ready to be gifted with a greater capacity.
There is never a time when God does not want to increase your capacity. The primary question you need
to keep asking yourself is, “What is the reason I want a greater capacity?” If it’s for the world, it’s
unlikely God’s going to help you. If it’s to bring glory to him, then God’s ready and willing to help.
1 Peter 4:10 (TLB) – God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each
other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings
Ask God to give you honest insights into what you’re currently capable of doing and then talk to him about how you’d like to be more capable tomorrow. The Lord wants to give you a greater capacity in many things. So, stop comparing yourself to others and start believing that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Philippians 4:13) Capacity building begins with your personal decision about what you want to change, and it needs to be followed by prayer. If you really want to do more, get more done, or achieve at a higher level, prepare your spiritual reasons then ask God to help you build your capacity. It’s going to require some effort, time, and sacrifice, but it will be worth it now, and if it’s for God’s glory, worth it for eternity.