Where We Can Fall Short

I consider myself handy, but most people who aren’t consider themselves handy.  Really I am…but I sometimes don’t give things the proper attention.  There’s this shelf that holds pots and pans, yeah I need to fix it properly.  It falls when it has too much weight on it and instead of fixing the brackets I’ve used duct tape and prayer.  All I’m doing is putting a band aid on a gaping wound.  I can’t remember where I’ve heard this saying but it goes like this, “If you don’t have time to fix something right the first time you’ll never fix it at all.” 
Fortunately it’s just a shelf, the consequences just lead to frustration.  But what happens when we short change people and projects in ministry?  We lose out.  Here are some of the areas we can fall short:

  • Calling A Student Who Misses A Week – We don’t think much of it, but how do we know whether the teen just got too busy or had a life changing crisis going on at home?
  • Preparing For A Message – You write it out, you feel it’s good and then you are up there giving it and you wonder, “What in Sam’s Hill am I trying to say?”
  • Planning A Meeting – It’s a meeting you’ve done before, you’re the youth pastor; therefore, you are the expert.  But, by not planning you go off on tangents, you contradict yourself and you waste everyone’s time.
  • Contacting A Parent – Maybe it’s about their teen, maybe it’s about getting that form in on time and you know a phone call is the most effective form of communication, instead you send an email, why?  Maybe it’s because you don’t want to engage in any uncomfortable confrontation.

But why do we short change ministry?  Why don’t we go all out every day of the week, every week of the year?  Maybe it’s because you are feeling stretched, maybe it’s because you have been hurt or you are in over your head.  If you find yourself short changing your ministry two questions that get to the root of the problem are:

  • Where’s my heart? The status of your heart will help you know why you not tackling a situation all out.
  • What’s in my focus? Sometimes the problem isn’t in the heart but in the mind.  Look at what’s on your plate, if there is too much variety or just too much eliminate, consolidate and delegate.

Regardless of the issue we need accountability and margin.  Accountability gives us the support we need when we can’t do it ourselves.  Margin gives us the grace we need when we fall short.  If we can make a habit to check our heart and our focus we can assure ourselves that we can give our ministry everything we’ve got.

Where do you short change your ministry? 

Join the discussion No Comments

  • Rachel Blom says:

    Thought provoking post! I think much depends on the type of person you are. I’m fairly task-oriented, so in times of stress I will default towards tasks and my personal contacts will suffer…Preparing a meeting or a message are things I hardly ever ‘forget’, but for others who are for instance more people oriented, it may be the other way around. But it’s not a conscious choice, it’s a pattern I have to be very aware of.

  • Rachel, thanks for sharing it’s good that you are aware of the situation and I think that’s key. Too many of us take things for granted and that’s when we get caught unprepared. I also like the differentiating of task vs. people oriented people.