I read a great article written by a friend of mine on the importance of keeping balance and a long term perspective in ministry. I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I did.
YOUNG PASTORS, SLOW DOWN
Frustration is just unmet expectation, and most of my frustration in pastoring has come from numbers, money, or buy-in not happening fast enough. I put insane amounts of pressure on myself to hit 6-month goals or maximize momentum and attendance bumps. If I have learned one thing about myself and my peers in leadership, it’s that we expect results too quickly.
“We overestimate what God wants to do through us in the short term and underestimate what God wants to do through us in the long term.” – Mark Batterson
Dealing with the frustration of not experiencing the results I wanted, I had a revelation recently during my morning devotions. I asked myself this question, “If I knew I had 20 years to build a great church, how would I pastor differently than I am right now?” At that moment, for a split second, all the pressure fell off. I wasn’t thinking about what attendance should be next fall or what sermon series could create buzz. Thinking long term allowed me to focus on the things that should really matter. If I knew I had 20 years, I would prioritize health instead of growth. If I knew I had 20 years, I would focus on developing leaders instead of plugging volunteer holes. If I knew I had 20 years, I would spend more time talking about long term vision and less time promoting events.
Here’s the great news, I do have 20 years! I don’t mean I’m promised tomorrow, but God willing 20 years from now I will still be breathing and pastoring my church in Louisville, and I will be 51 years old. The only one pressuring me to produce results now is me, but if I will take my time, focus on the foundation, and let God continue to grow me, the potential is limitless.
You have time! Slow down, breath, and stop trying to prove something.