I may be concerned about many things, but I am responsible for just a few. I must focus my energies toward those few. Do you know what YOU are responsible for? Over the years, I have been plagued by what I viewed as illogical or poor decision-making by ministries that I had no responsibility for in my church. Let me give you an example. Let’s imagine that there is a ministry adjacent to me. The leader of that ministry is my peer. I do not oversee him and he does not oversee me. However, I have observed a brand new idea that he is seeking to implement. This idea does not make sense to me and it seems to be executed poorly. Wait! Why is this my problem? Yet, I have to admit that on more than one occasion, I have experienced anxiety and fretful evenings focusing on somebody else’s lack of execution, or on the fact that I thought someone else was doing a poor job.
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.
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 those 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 over them, you are wasting precious time and energy.
Turn Your Attention
When I identify another area of ministry that is doing something that I think could be done differently, I have found success by turning my attention to similar areas for which I have responsibility. I 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 over what a colossal waste of time this meeting 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 responsibility over the way those meetings were conducted.
I decided to identify the things about those meetings that were frustrating me, and then apply them to the way that I conducted meetings in my area of ministry. Lo and behold, I discovered that I had room for improvement when it came to how I conducted meetings. Shame on me. Why should I complain about how someone else led a meeting when I 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. We are concerned about many things, but we are responsible for just a few. Focus on the few.
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