Capacity building and the Biblical connection
Posted By Rev.Fr. K.M. Jose SDB

Capacity is the ability Christ gives each one of us to carry out His commands. And capacity varies from person to person. It becomes a problem when I compare my capacity with someone of greater capacity. Indeed, capacity
is meant to provide guardrails, not guilt. So how can we use capacity to our advantage instead of our disadvantage? How can we understand our limitations and trust the Lord with the results? It starts by being honest about how God has made us. If we can only execute one project with excellence, then we limit ourselves to only that one. Personal honesty about our capacity is what gives us the ability to do more. Therefore, monitor your capacity in prayer before Jesus. Ask Him for courage to say no to something new so you can say yes to current obligations. Thus, you can increase your intellectual, emotional, and relational capacity, notwithstanding the fact that this will certainly take time, focus,
and discipline.

Capacity building is also important at work, in the community and in relationships. Yes, indeed! As you remain faithful with small responsibilities, the Lord and others can trust you with additional tasks. When you manage a small amount of money on a budget, you can be trusted with more resources to steward well. When you treat one individual with a full complement of grace and truth, you build relational capacity for more quality friendships.

The Lord has unlimited capacity for empathy, wisdom, and character. So go to Him for your capacity building. Does your heart have the same capacity for humility as your mind does for truth? So, build capacity around Christ’s gifts to you. “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you” (2 Corinthians 10:12–13).

Jesus and His Team

It is not enough that one or two individuals in the community are talented or entrusted with the mission while the others do only the minimum. Each one must be able to give their utmost in whatever sector is entrusted to them. Capacity building is successful only if there is team work and Jesus knew the importance of teamwork. In building a team of twelve Apostles, he made working together to build the Kingdom of God an essential element of the Christian faith,
and a delicate but fundamental task of every consecrated religious.

So too must we foster a sense of belonging, community, and purpose. In order to empower his apostles, Jesus spent three years educating them so that they could utilize the knowledge resources that he had provided to them. In doing so, Jesus nurtured them for their mission of enlightenment. If Jesus had sent them out too early the disciples would have been doomed to failure. What does the Bible say about building a team? We read in 1 Corinthians 12:14 that the Body of Christ,
or the people that are the whole of humanity, are a team. The body is not supported by one person, but by all of us. We are one, we are strongest working together in unity. Teamwork is the key to living life in harmony, so that we can do God’s will. 1 Corinthians 14:33 tells us that our God is a God of peace and not of disorder. Being organized will bring calmness and peace into our families. Luke 14:28- 30 discusses the process for taking on a project, showing that we must first know what we have and what we need to complete a project.

Our Spiritual Capacity

The term “spiritual capacity” describes the degree to which you understand who you are and what you want most. Building
your spiritual capacity is a journey of self-discovery; it means taking time to understand your motivations and what makes you happy. It’s daunting work, but it’s extremely important. Spirituality improves inner working capacity. Individuals who are spiritual are often at peace with themselves. Some who struggle internally may have a more difficult time concentrating on work, engaging with others and handling stressful situations. Spirituality can enhance performance by helping individuals feel a sense of calm and stability in their lives.

Don Bosco and Capacity Building

We are all aware of Don Bosco’s humble beginnings. Working in borrowed premises, he provided boys with education, religious instruction, and recreation; eventually he headed a large establishment containing a grammar school, a technical school, and a church, all built through his efforts. He also achieved a local reputation as a popular preacher. Don Bosco taught that educators should act like caring parents; always be gentle and prudent; allow for the thoughtlessness of youth; be alert for hidden motives; speak kindly; give timely advice; and ‘correct often’. Alongside love, Don Bosco stressed the importance of reason and religion. St. John Bosco was an exceptional educator. His acute intelligence, common sense and profound spirituality led him to create a system of education that develops the whole person – body, heart, mind and spirit. It enhances growth and freedom while putting the child at the centre of the whole educational enterprise. Of course, all this was not as easy as we read here! He did have to face numerous challenges. Many poor families lived in the slums of the city and had come from the countryside in search of a better life. In visiting the prisons, Don Bosco was disturbed to see so many boys from 12 to 18 years of age. He was determined to find a means to prevent them from ending up here. This is how the Salesian mission commenced.

The Salesian’s mission is making the Salesian school/college/hostel/boarding/oratory/youth centre/formation house, a home where young people are welcome, a school where they learn important life lessons, a parish where they gather to
grow in faith, and a playground where friendships are built. Hence, the Salesian community’s mission is a congenial, friendly and holistic approach to education. It creates a climate that ‘draws forth’ the best in the child, that encourages the child’s complete and fullest self-expression, that assists young people in acquiring habits that will lead them to opt in favour of what is good, healthy, joyful and life-enhancing.

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