I may be concerned about many things, but I am responsible for a few. Place your energies toward the few.
Responsible for a Few Things
Ultimately, I want everything to go well in the church. However, I don’t have responsibility over everything in the church. I only have responsibility for a few things. I can acknowledge when I am concerned about something, but I need to remember what I am responsible for.
To be concerned about another ministry area doing a poor job is understandable. That can reflect poorly on us as a church, and ultimately affect volunteers that may come into my area. However, I need to draw the line by saying that I am concerned, giving myself the emotional freedom to say I have anxiety about this. That should be my line of demarcation. My concern stops there, and I then turn my attention to only the areas that I have responsibility over.
You are entrusted with certain aspects of ministry under your care. You are responsible to your supervisor and ultimately responsible to the Lord. Take those areas the most seriously. When you unnecessarily focus on areas that are not your responsibility, fretting and stewing over them, you are shooting yourself in the foot, wasting precious time and energy.
Turn Your Attention
My strategy has been an emotional one. When I identify that another area of ministry is doing something that I think could be done differently, I have found success by turning my attention to the areas for which I have responsibility. I simply make sure that my area does not make that same mistake.
Let me give you an example. I had a leader years ago who conducted meetings that were some of the worst meetings I had ever been a part of. Unfortunately, as I was in these meetings I became frustrated, upset and would get to the point of anger and anxiety of what a colossal waste of time this meeting truly was. Not only was I wasting emotional energy, but I wasn’t doing my heart any good by getting frustrated at this leader. This leader was my superior, so I had no hope of actually changing the way that these meetings were conducted.
I decided to zero in on the things that were frustrating me and then applied them to the way that I conducted meetings. Lo and behold, I discovered that I had some very large gaping areas of oversight when it came to how I conducted meetings. Shame on me. Why should I complain about how someone else does a meeting when I myself have deficiencies in my own leadership? From then on, my strategy became to learn what I didn’t like in other areas of ministry and reapply that to my own leadership.
Focus on The Few
Before you complain about someone else’s ministry, make sure that your area of ministry is not being conducted in the same way. I am concerned about many things, but I am responsible but for a few. Focus on the few.
This article was extracted from Issue 2 (Summer 2020) of the AVAIL Journal. Claim your free annual subscription here.
Josh Denhart is a children's ministry curriculum writer and children's ministry performer. Josh is a seasoned educator with BA in Chemistry Education, a MA in Effective Instruction, and earned National Board Certification in Young Adult and Adolescent Science. As a former High School chemistry teacher, Josh melded his love for Science and Christ, creating “The Amazing Chemistry Show”, a traveling gospel-centered stage show with fire, explosions and foam. Carrying this Ministry of Chemistry even further, Josh created “Science VBS”, an internationally celebrated Vacation Bible School curriculum.
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