Purposefully Missing Out: Getting through the decisions of should and could

I don’t know about you but I get really excited when some introduces to me a great idea or a new opportunity.  It’s like excitement of being a part of something new or great.  But then I get nervous because I ask myself, “Should I do this?” or “Am I capable of doing this?” because I feel like such a busy person.  And just because someone asks me to do something or to be a part of it doesn’t mean I should.  I know saying yes and no to the right things is important.  But because of that fear I know I’ve missed some key opportunities.  Because of the situation I’ve put myself in I know I haven’t taken full advantage of events and decisions that could move our ministry in the right direction.
Over the last couple of years our church has participated in a community wide event called Servefest and it’s been great; however, I’ve never taken full opportunity of the event, I’ve never really pushed students to be a part of this movement.  While a lot of us worry about overcommitment I know some of us under commit as well.  So how do we find the right balance?  How do we make sure we CAN DO this and SHOULD DO this?
It comes down to making sure you can take the risks and that you feel confident about your decisions and you can do that first by:

  • Replacing Yourself: You’ve heard me say this before, you’ll hear me say it again, but as youth ministers we need to delegate responsibility, leadership and ownership of what we do.  If you are going to try something new, if you are going to explore a new frontier you’ll want to make sure that your foundation doesn’t suffer.  The best way we can have a solid foundation is through replacing ourselves in different areas in ministry.  Pass decisions, creative thinking and responsibility over to your leaders, they’ll appreciate it and it’ll give you the reassurance that your ministry is in safe hands while you explore that new frontier.
  • Survey, Listen and Share: One of the reasons we don’t make a decision, cease an opportunity, or follow through on an idea is because we aren’t sure if people will buy into it.  So we need to figure that out.  Survey parents, students, ministers, whoever it affects.  Listen to the feedback give and share your reasons for the vision, idea or thought.  Many times we want to make a gut decision, but then as soon as it’s made we feel remorse, a sense of, “Oh no did I make the right decision?” runs through our conscience.  Do the research, listen to the comments and share your ideas, people will let you know their fears and they’ll let you know if it’s a winner.
  • Simplify and Clarify:  Sometimes we overcomplicate an idea or an event, we feel like we have to reinvent the wheel.  If you want to do a particular event make sure the vision is clear (whether it’s your own or someone elses).  If you don’t have clear vision then it’s going to be overwhelming, simplify it.  Look at the steps to making that idea happen, are they abstract?  Simplify them, make them clear so that others can do them, not just you.

One of the worse things we can do is miss out on an opportunity to expand God’s kingdom.  Ideally we would embrace each idea, event and opportunity He provides us with, but that doesn’t always happen.  We have to remove our doubt by seeking out more information, we need to make the path clear by laying out the steps and we have to give ourselves margin by building a foundation that allows risk.  What do you all do?  How do you cease opportunity?  How do you determine what’s worth the risk and what isn’t?