Years ago, there was a humungous machine at the World’s Fair. This machine had smoke, levers, and gears, in addition to it making noise. It drew a lot of attention as the people stood in amazement to see this huge contraption belching smoke, churning gears, and making noise. Somebody leaned over to the main engineer, who was swelled up with pride, and asked the simple question, “What does this thing do?” To everyone’s surprise, the engineer replied, “What do you mean, what does it do? It just runs.” Can this be said of your life? Is your life full of busy-ness, but you just run?
It’s very easy to be busy. Simply moving and flittering to and fro between nonessential tasks gives us the feeling that we are actually accomplishing something. Merely staying busy doesn’t amount to execution, however. I have seen so many leaders busy themselves with trivial matters that they are gauging whether or not they have executed based on their feelings of personal exhaustion. That is a terrible way to gauge whether or not you have been successful. There is a difference between execution and activity. Success should be gauged on whether or not an activity has been executed and achieved. Mere activity does not equal execution.
One thing I have found we often busy ourselves with in church culture is meetings. Meetings should bring about a list of items which set into motion a series of things to execute. Many leaders view meetings as work, but was anything actually accomplished? I have personally sat in 7-8 hours of meetings in one day and came to the conclusion that no real work was done. Simply being busy does not mean that you are achieving anything. A meeting for the sake of a meeting does not accomplish anything. Our work should seek to achieve something. The church can be so prone to meaningless activity under the thought that we are actually executing something. Execution moves things forward, while mere activity is a waste of time.
Take a quick assessment of your work. Are you bringing execution to the table or merely busy-ness?