I was sitting in my pastor’s office one day, and he was explaining to me all the things he had to get accomplished that week when his phone rang. He answered and someone asked him to come speak that week at a community event. Without hesitation he said yes. He was already preparing multiple messages that week, had a counseling session on Tuesday night, and a small group on Wednesday. So, why would he say yes to the community event? Because he hates to let anyone down.
That’s an admirable trait, but one that often has negative consequences. Many pastors have burned out and lost their families because they didn’t want to let anyone down.
So, the next time you think about adding something to your already busy schedule, ask yourself these four questions.
- Can someone else do this?
You can’t do everything, so quit trying to. John Maxwell says, “If someone can do it 80% as good as you, let them do it.” This gives you time to focus on the most important things, and it gives others a chance to use the gifts God has given them. There are a lot of people in your church who can go visit people in the hospital, but no one else can be a spouse to your spouse and no one else can be a parent to your kids.
- Is this a priority right now?
Sometimes we do things, just to be doing something. I’m guilty of this myself. I’ll find myself doing busy work, instead of working on the stuff that really matters. At the beginning of each day, prioritize what needs to be done. Then do the hard stuff first.
- Does this move the vision forward?
If you’re not going to see a direct impact to your church from an event or task on your schedule, then your time would be better spent doing something else. Many pastors complain that they don’t have time to develop leaders, but when you look at their schedules, you find out that they’re filling it with things that don’t add value.
- If I didn’t do this, what would change?
Chances are you’re doing some things that wouldn’t be missed if you stopped doing them. You’re also probably doing some things that someone in your church could do better than you. Let someone else lead the prayer meeting. Let someone else do the landscaping. Let someone else speak at the community event. You probably have more important things to be doing.
When you try to do everything yourself, you put a lid on your growth. The quicker you realize you’re not meant to do everything, the quicker your church will grow.
What is one thing you’re currently doing that you know you need to let go of? Let us know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.