This is it; our last in the series of New Year’s Resolutions. This might be my favorite, and the hardest. Yeah, I know you thought finding new volunteers was hard, but this may top it (depending on your personality).
I find myself taking on the burden of a lot of things that are not mine to carry—and it’s exhausting. I tend to run around the church seeing all the things that aren’t done as well as they could be and go crazy trying to figure out how to do them better. Of course, I can’t do them better because they are not my job. These things are someone else’s job. And while it’s one thing for me to make suggestions here and there, it’s another thing to lose sleep over them.
My executive pastor once said that he’s been learning that there are some things he choose not to care about. Not because these things aren’t worth caring about; but because they’re not worth him caring about. That’s an important distinction.
I’m learning that if I want to be able to do this for the long haul, I have to be careful and guard my energies. If I spend all my time running around trying to fix every problem in the church, I’ll be burned out in no time. Even if I don’t try to fix all the problems but simply spend a bunch of energy thinking about them, I’ll still burn out.
Instead, I’m learning to look past those things and not worry about them. It’s not easy, especially as a recovering perfectionist. But I’m finding I’m happier, I sleep more and enjoy my work more when I concentrate on the things I can and should be working to improve while leaving the rest to others.
I’m also worried less about punching the “perfect show.” Back when I was doing corporate work, we always chased the perfect show; the one with no missed cues when everything ran on time. For a long time, I tried for that in church as well. Sometimes, I was so focused on making the technical stuff perfect that I missed out on what God was doing. And that is not good.
Now, if someone misses a cue or makes a mistake, we smile, shrug and go on. Sure, we’ll talk about it if necessary, but most time, everyone knows what happened and we know how to avoid it. And I bet 50% of the time, the congregation never even noticed.
Worrying less about this has also increased my enjoyment of the services exponentially. Like in a family, when the TD is happy, everyone is happy.
So there you go. Some ideas on ways to improve your ministry in 2013: Work less; Delegate more; Train more volunteers; Try more new things; and Worry less. Not such a bad list now that I’m looking at it…