The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In a closed system (the universe), the amount of energy remains constant. The two most basic forms are potential and kinetic. Potential energy is the stored energy of a boulder, poised to roll down the moment you release it. That’s gravitational potential. Kinetic energy is the energy of its motion, once it starts rolling.
That’s physics. The opposite is true in church life. Here’s the First Law of Church Life Thermodynamics:
You’re either the person who creates energy, or destroys it.
You can be the person who initiates things, or builds actively and creatively on the ideas and suggestions of others. You’re the one who asks, “Yes – and what if …?”, or who says eagerly, “I’ll do it!” or “I’ll help!”
Or you can be the negative person who can always find reasons for not doing anything. You can do that actively, or passively by simply being a bystander – eating the biscuits at a meeting, but not adding to the energy of the meeting, potential or kinetic. And always having any number of good reasons/excuses/explanations for why you are merely an absorber of it. Like the Death Eaters in the Harry Potter stories.
Covenant behaviour is always about being a contributor, rather than a consumer. It’s being the generous one, who always puts in far more than they take out. It’s not about personality; it’s about vision and faithfulness and the passion to make a Jesus-shaped difference.