focusing your ministry energy - Printable Version

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focusing your ministry energy - HelenaZF - 01-27-2007

Dean and I were discussing today how so many people in the churches are involved in many activities and try to do, well, everything.

There are a lot of different dynamics at work, and reasons people tend to over-extend themselve with church work....but many times, I think it is just because we let ourselves keep adding "one more thing" to our list.

We can get scattered from our main calling and ministry purpose in our churches, and our effectiveness...or at least our concentration.....can be diluted. If you are on the dance team, and then also volunteer to be scripture reader, nursery aid, and are involved in getting the after-service potluck together on the same day....you are involved in too many things. I think good stewardship calls us to focus on our primary gifts and calling and narrow our energies to pour into that area. It makes things so much more peaceful for you, and everything else is not getting just your partial attention.

1 Corinthians 14:40 says, Let all things be done decently and in order. But it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to do all things yourself....

Maybe the biggest problem has to do with learning to say "no". Maybe it has to do with examining why you feel compelled to give your time & energy in so many areas that you can't do any of them real justice. Maybe you think if you don't do those things, no one else will--which, of course, is a deception. Everyone has different motivations.

What does this have to do with worship, I hear you asking? Worship is about honoring God. And one of those ways we honor God is by using the gifts He has given us in the fullest and most effective ways. And that can mean doing less, not more.

focusing your ministry energy - Phred - 01-29-2007

<QUOTE author="HelenaZF,Jan 27 2007, 07:05 PM">
HelenaZF,Jan 27 2007, 07:05 PM Wrote:1 Corinthians 14:40 says, Let all things be done decently and in order.  But it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to do all things yourself....
<COLOR color="#000000">That's sure a different take on that verse. :lol:

It's really true, though, isn't it? And it seems like this "affliction" would happen most in a smaller congregation where there are big dreams and few bodies.

Surely something to think and pray about. Kind of like that "simplify" word that goes around the body every couple of years, huh?


focusing your ministry energy - flaglady - 01-29-2007

Nice point. I took a decision to focus on my ministry which, at the time, involved working on my website, my book and workshops. But it resulted in my pastor's wife pointedly remarking how they 'never see me' at the drop-in dinner, mum'n'tots and KidzKlub (though I support KK a lot by buying stuff for prizes in their games).

I found the remark, made on more than one occasion, very hurtful but it didn't detract me from my focus. I just reckon she has never understood my calling.

focusing your ministry energy - HelenaZF - 01-29-2007

You bring up a good caution, flaglady. When we do make the decision to focus in, and start to cut back on other activites, people are not always going to understand and applaud.

They may think something is wrong with you, or you are unhappy about something in those areas....even take it as a personal affront. There is always a price to pay when you seek to follow the Lord in deeper, more committed ways.

focusing your ministry energy - Phred - 01-29-2007

<QUOTE author="flaglady,Jan 29 2007, 04:14 AM">
flaglady,Jan 29 2007, 04:14 AM Wrote:I found the remark, made on more than one occasion, very hurtful but it didn't detract me from my focus. I just reckon she has never understood my calling.
<COLOR color="#000000">It really is amazing just how severely we as Christians can injure our brethren and sistren, isn't it? Careless comments, usually made based on our own ethic, our own energy, our own uninformed positions.

Flaglady, the Lord's words are good ones here, slightly twisted: "Father forgive them for they know not what they say!"

Good for you that you did not let it detract you. TALLY HO!! ONWARD! :horsie:

Any chance of educating her on the "less is more" facet of Christian ministry??

focusing your ministry energy - etherea - 01-30-2007

Sometimes I see people trying to 'do it all' in the church and I wonder if it is a quest for approval of people, or if it is some kind of self-atonement offering because of sins they think they have to make up for.

I suppose there are people that are just so happy to give and full of energy that they are thrilled to do more and more. But I think you might be able to easily tell if that was the case. I think it takes a confident, mature, peaceful person to pull back and just put their energy into their area of calling regardless of what other people say about it.

I agree that following through on that decision is an act of worship to God.

focusing your ministry energy - sonworshiper - 02-08-2007

Good topic. Can you tell I'm enjoying being able to type on my notebook!? Wink

I'm reminded of the concept that in small churches, there is only a small core of people that "do" everything. I've been in a larger church (larger than my present one) and the same was true there, except then, the pastor was seemingly expected to do almost everything! (from preparing communion to filling and emptying the baptismal tank!)

Now we're in a smaller church, smaller church family, but we have different people doing the "things" or "services" that keep a church running. Personally I "do" several things--not because I'm full of myself, but because I've been asked to fill the roles I am in, and my giftings happen to fall in these areas. I am not feeling overwhelmed or that I am "doing" too much in our church. As I said before, there are several people doing different jobs, no one person.

In life though, often it seems that Christians can become overworked, over "used", and overwhelmed. I was at a women's retreat last spring where we listened to / watched the video by Andy Stanley "Discovering God's Will". It was an awesome series! Our home group is now doing it and enjoying it. During the final (I think) discussion, Andy Stanley talks about Nehemiah and a great truth that we as Christians need to learn--to say "no". He tells about Nehemiah building the walls, and Sanballat trying to get him to stop. . .Sanballat sends his men to get Nehemiah to come and see him, because Sanballat needs to talk with him. Point being that Nehemiah knew he was doing something important for God and that Sanballat was basically just trying to get him to stop it. Nehemiah answered, "I am doing a great thing and I cannot come down". What a great concept.

(The following rant is not being prideful, but being said to make a point)

I am a great cook. I can cook for 150 people (with proper means) and not break a sweat. I can sing. I can lead worship. I can speak. I am very organized. I am a good secretary. I can work on computers. I can do tons of stuff. Does NOT mean I should. Smile

Since hearing that video and the point that "I am doing a great thing and I cannot come down", I have backed out of a few things. I no longer cook at camp. I no longer am on a committee for hockey camp (7 years of doing that). I am doing a great thing--being involved in our church family. Not to say that I'm super busy and going crazy with that. But as far as ministry goes, my church family is it, after my family and home.

Sorry for ranting for so long. Great topic. Wink Brings out the chatty in me.




focusing your ministry energy - DeanZF - 02-08-2007

<QUOTE author="sonworshiper,Feb 8 2007, 10:25 AM">
sonworshiper,Feb 8 2007, 10:25 AM Wrote:Not to say that I'm super busy and going crazy with that. But as far as ministry goes, my church family is it, after my family and home.

Sorry for ranting for so long. Great topic. Wink Brings out the chatty in me.
Chatty on, Moe!! Not long at all!! When you get to chapters or even pages, we'll talk about too long. Maybe...

Amen to you and others who seem to "get it", IMO.

No, not super busy, but neither are you so busy that if Father quietly whispered in your ear to "Go Do This", that you'd have to say, "Well, Lord, let me look at the calendar here and see if I can be free that day. I might have to arrange these four things, cancel these two things, and...well, I think I can probably be there for SOME of that..." Not a very good answer when including the word, "Lord". Blush

focusing your ministry energy - flaglady - 02-08-2007

Must say, after years of thinking to myself how our church seemed to have a one-man-band when it came to leadership, I was delighted to see that the youngsters are now being allocated jobs of calling the meeting to order and opening prayers, of reading the notices and other similar stuff. It's great to see some of them, some often usually quite reserved, suddenly blossom into formidable speakers when they are given the authority. Great stuff!

focusing your ministry energy - DeanZF - 02-09-2007

Great indeed when they come far enough out of their shells to recognize God's calling or God's gift in their lives.

I often pause to think that it's rather sad that the 80/20 rule applies to the church, where we are to indeed give our all, not our some, that we're to serve and love on and dote on those in the body.

For any who don't know, the 80/20 rule is a long established principle in business, in volunteer groups, and any other organization where there is a "group dynamic", and that is that 80% of the work (or the donations given, or the time given, etc.) is done by 20% of the people of the organization. Works in the corporate world, too.

We had a teacher at our church a couple of years back. He was a really special guy, ex-convict bad man in his pre-Christ life, who had turned around to make a very successful ministry to those in prison and those coming out. VERY successful in reducing the recidivism rate (returning to prison, usually from the same sort of crime) from the normal 50% or more to less than 5% of those who completed the program. And that continued even up to 10 years after release from jail! His name was Frank.

Frank talked about people in two groups, the givers and the takers. Pretty simple really, easy way to divide sheep from goats in one sense. His basic sense of it all was that we should be ministering to takers and fellowshipping with givers. The goal is, of course, to help folks heal enough to become givers and leave the "taker world" behind. He also admitted a time or two that the ratio in most churches he knew was still about 80/20!

Found that this is a good way to look at how we spend our church time, too. Helps keep from draining our vital energies. This gets more and more important to me as I get older and more tired. No silly there!

Much is expected of whom much was received! Takes energy to fulfill the "much is expected".