I may be concerned about many things, but I am responsible but for a few. Place your energies towards the few.
Do you know what YOU are responsible for? Over the years, I have been plagued by what I viewed as illogical and 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 them and they do not oversee me. However, I have observed a brand new idea that they are seeking to tackle. This idea does not make sense to me and it is being executed very poorly. Wait! Why is this my problem? Yet, I have to admit that on more than one occasion, I have gotten my underwear into a wad about other people’s problems. I have experienced anxiety and fretful evenings focusing on somebody else’s lack of execution, or on the fact that someone else was doing a poor job.
Ultimately, I want everything to go well in the church, 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.
My strategy has been one of an emotional strategy. 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 in my entire life. 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. Low 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.
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.