Did you know that Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, was a devout Christian, Apart from being a successful Christian, he was also a very successful businessman. He testified that it was his faith in the Lord that provided him with the motivation to succeed even when he was already 65 years old. He had since gone on to be with the Lord in 1980 but the testimony of his success continues till this day.
Colonel Sanders started out in the food business when he opened a restaurant to complement his automobile service station. He was quite a creative cook and one of his culinary inventions was a Southern fried chicken. He had marinated this with his own special blend of herbs and spices. Being a curious person, he sought after new ways and methods to improve his cooking. Soon he learned about a newly invented cooking pot known as the pressure cooker. It was said that this appliance could reduce his cooking time drastically. At that time, his existing customers were already complaining about the food preparation time being too long. So he decided to try out frying his chicken with this new invention. To his pleasant surprise, his chicken tasted much better when prepared in this way. His restaurant business blossomed and grew even beyond that of his automobile service station.
Just as he was about to enjoy the success of his restaurant business, a crisis hit him. He was forced to close his restaurant and automobile service station because a new interstate highway had redirected most of his customers elsewhere. He was then 65 years old and had nowhere else to go. He could be like many of his aged friends, who had retired and lived off the government retirement benefits. However, that was not the kind of life for the Colonel! He knew that his special recipe would be his next key to success. Colonel Sanders made a bold decision, took his recipe and pressured cooker and traveled around the United States looking for restaurants that were willing to buy his franchise.
In the 1950s, this idea sounded as crazy as it sounds today. Imagine an old man with a chicken recipe-franchising scheme, driving around selling franchises that no one ever ask for. This just does not make sense.
Countless restaurant owners rejected Colonel Sanders’ franchising scheme. It was said that not less than 1009 restaurant owners turned him down before he was able to make his first sale. By 1964, Colonel Sanders had signed up more than 600 franchisees and later sold his business for a huge sum of money. The rest of the story is history.
What has the story of Colonel Sanders to do with our church growth, Here are some interesting principles that we can learn from this courageous man:
The Colonel believed in what he had.
Belief is a powerful motivation. Colonel Sanders believed that his chicken recipe was unique and probably the best. He believed that to be a fact even when no one else did. Today, Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants are found worldwide because of that singular conviction.
The church in the Book of Acts was a believing church. It went through dark time of persecutions and attacks but it triumphed because the apostles and the early Christians believed in what they had.
Do we believe that we, The Living Word Fellowship, have a unique and powerful message to share with the world, Of course, we do! We believe that God has raised The Living Word Fellowship for more than being a ministry to our community but also to the rest of the world.
The Colonel acted on his belief
It was said that Colonel Sanders often slept in his car while he was out selling his franchise. He even ate the very chicken that he cooked as samples for the restaurants. He did not just expound a theory but acted upon his belief. He was willing to sacrifice so that he could succeed.
Many years ago, Nehemiah believed that the wall of Jerusalem should be built and set out doing it. In spite of tremendous opposition from the enemies, Israel was willing to sacrifice. The citizens believed and stood with their leadership. They acted together upon that belief. The end result was that the wall was built!
The Living Word Fellowship is acting upon its belief too. We are taking the step of faith and adding another opportunity for greater outreach — the 8:30 AM International Worship Service. It will a time-consuming venture and more sacrifices will be expected. We will also be making many changes so that we will be able to serve the Lord and His people better.
The Colonel refused to respond to his limitation but only to his potential.
Most 65 year-old think that they are too old to launch any new projects. They are intimidated by the magnitude of these new challenges and so they simply give up. As for the Colonel, he refused to respond to his limitation but only to his potential. Age was never a barrier but an asset. He felt that he was more experienced and wiser to fulfill his dream.
In the Bible, Caleb was one of the old Israelite generals who refused to surrender to the limitation of his age. Instead, he believed that the Lord would bless him even at that ripe old age of 80 (Joshua 14:7-14). He was a dreamer who sought only after his potential.
We must learn from these testimonies. We do not need to surrender to our limitation either. The Lord wants to bless our potentials and we should maximize them for the glory of the Lord. Join a ministry today and be active for the kingdom of God.
The Colonel was willing to try new method
One of the primary reasons for Colonel Sanders’ success was his willingness to look for new ways to do things. By taking advantage of new invention, Colonel Sanders produced a winning formula that became the key to growing his business.
Peter, Paul and the other apostles were willing to preach to the Gentiles even though it was a completely new concept. They learned to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit even though they had to do what they had never done before.
The Living Word Fellowship will be trying out some very new approaches to evangelism and ministries. There will be critiques sitting at the wings, ready to mock when we fail. However, we must never allow the fear of failure or embarrassment to prevent us from using new methods to achieve God’s objectives.
Colonel Sanders would not be defeated
When the highway destroyed his business, the Colonel went on fighting. That’s the kind of fighting spirit we must have. When one door is closed, let’s trust that the Lord is opening another door. When the restaurant business closed, Colonel Sanders came out with the chicken franchising scheme.
Even when he was on the road, the Colonel proved to be a tenacious fellow. He did not give in to difficulties at all. After being rejected 1009 times, he went to sell a franchise to the 1010th prospect. Could you imagine what would happen to KFC if Colonel Sanders had given up after being rejected by prospect no. 1009,
The second temple took the Israelites twenty years to complete. They could have finished building in a few short years but there were much objections and resistance from the enemies. However, the Israelites under the leadership of earnest dedicated men like Zerrubabel, Joshua, Haggai and Zechariah, refused to be defeated. Their tenacity paid off and the second temple was ready for consecration in the spring of B.C. 516, twenty years after their return from captivity.
Tenacity when applied positively will get us over the “River Jordan.” We do not pretend that growing this church will be easy. If it were that easy then we would have done it years ago. The journey will be tough! There will be criticisms, objections, and even rejections. Whatever the cost, as long as we are patient and willing to pay the price, we will make it.
We have to continue to invite our friends and loved ones to church and cell meetings. Many of them will turn us down. Do we give up, No! We just need to work wiser and harder. We will not use anything as an excuse to fail because we know that, by the grace of God, we cannot be defeated!
We may face hardship but our church leadership is resolved to lead us to overcome every mountain and obstacle. God is giving us the “Promised Land” and we will be facing “giants”. The going will be tough but we must never, never, never give up!