Are you doing too much? Is your church programme too full? Do you have enough time for everything? If we’re not careful, both as Christian leaders and as churches, we can fall into the trap of following the rush of the world, and thinking that we could be doing more. We add more and more to our church programme, and then we wonder why we crash and burn, or why our church members and volunteers always seem to be lacking in energy.
A few weeks ago, I went out on Basingstoke Salvation Army’s new minibus to be authorised to drive it as a passenger vehicle. The trainer gave me lots of good advice. The one that struck me most was to keep further back from the vehicle in front than I would when driving a car. He told me I needed to remember I was driving a four tonne vehicle (which would therefore take longer to stop) and that I would probably be carrying vulnerable passengers who would appreciate a smoother ride.
Staying further behind the vehicle in front enables you to ensure you don’t creep up on it only to find yourself in a situation where you need to brake quickly when things might get out of control.
Everyone’s capacity for work is different. Think about yours. Bearing that in mind, can you realistically take any more on, or even keep going at the speed you’re currently at? If the vehicle ahead of you crashed, would you have time to stop? Or would your ministry be added to the pile up? As spiritual leaders we need to use our time well. Yes, we need to get things done. But we also need time to reflect, and to spend significant amount of time with God.
What about your church programme? I know of one Salvation Army Corps in the UK that took the courageous decision to cancel all programme for twelve months to pray for God’s vision of the ministry and mission he wanted them to do in their town, before starting to build the programme again from scratch. How would your church react if you suggested that? Would a blank church programme allow members to find their level – a comfortable place where they could organise the discipling events they needed and even serve the community outside of their church?
Don’t be afraid of the space between you and the next vehicle. You don’t have to fill it! And it might just save your life!
Do you feel in control of your life? What about your church programme? Does it have enough white space? Why not comment below.
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[Image courtesy of Paul Wordingham on Flickr Creative Commons]