Pastor’s Ponderings: March 2020

by John Armstrong

 

An important part of the job of any leader is thinking.  I know, some of you are saying to yourselves, “Wow, that is a real PhD statement there.”  Bear with me a moment as I state the obvious.  Sometimes the speed of life is such that I go from one thing to the next without much thought of anything else.  There is always one more thing waiting to be done.  There is this meeting and that meeting and this person or that person that needs to be seen.  The schedule gets full and the demands are such that not much thinking takes place.  What do I mean by thinking?  I’m referring to time to consider where I am in life, what is going on around me, what is the best course of action, where do I want to go, how do I get there, how do I bring others along with me, and why am I going this way?  I’m guessing this is an experience that many of you share. 

 

Busyness is a fairly common topic in this Pastor’s Pondering section of our monthly newsletter.  I come back to it often, because I recognize it is something I need to not just fight against, it is something I need wage war against.  Busyness is the enemy of good leadership.  It sneaks in and saps our strength by causing us to spend our best efforts on “good” things.  Reread that last sentence, I wrote it that way purposefully.  We need to spend our best efforts doing that which is best, not just doing that which is good.  How do you discern the difference between what is best and what is good?  I’ll tell you how I go about it.  I pray for the Lord to guide me into that which is best and to guard me from getting caught up in doing good to the point that I never get to what is best.  Satan would have us get really busy doing all kinds of “good” things so that we are exhausted and unable to that which is best.  Think about that.  The next time you are feeling tired and spent at the end of the day, ask yourself this question: “Did I do what is best today, or did I fill the time with just what was ‘good’?”  I hope you can see that which is “good”, when it gets in the way of what is “best”, is no longer good.

 

One of the things the elders on the Session are wrestling with is how do we do a better job of leading and shepherding the flock here at Faith Church.   One of our big challenges is getting people to join in the work of the ministry.  Many of the elders serve on multiple committees and are not as fruitful overall because they are spread too thin.  I include myself in that number.  I think we are going to be working over the coming months to try and change that.  What we are saying is we are going to try and change the 80/20 rule in the church.  The 80/20 rule says 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.  That means we need to have a cultural shift in our church to recognize that 80/20 environment as not healthy.  Immediately, we need to see this as an impossible task apart from the Lord’s working in our midst.  We need to be diligent in prayer for this to change.  After that, this means more participation on the part of the laity and a different focus of effort on the part of the elders and deacons.  What are your gifts?  Where are you working?  Are you bearing fruit for the kingdom at Faith Church?  If not, why not?  Will you be a part of shifting the 80/20 culture in our church to change the rule to 100% of the work being done by at least 80% of the people?  When we get there, we’ll still need to be thoughtful about doing that which is best over that which is merely “good.”  However, we’ll be getting there together and that will be a fruitful enterprise.