Perks follow work.
In an age of instant entitlement, many of us want the perks without putting in much work.
Apple started in Steve Job’s parents’ garage and Facebook was headquartered out of a dorm room long before anyone got preferred shares or free food. In fact, in the early days of any company or organization, nobody’s thinking about the perks. They’re singularly focused on the work.
Similarly, if you want to make progress, focus on the work, not the perk.
“Always remember: Your focus determines your reality.” Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn shares this advice with Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, but in our hyper-distracted work world, it’s advice that we all need to hear.
Technology has undoubtedly ushered in progress in a myriad of ways. But this same force has also led to work environments that inundate people with a relentless stream of emails, meetings, and distractions. In 2010, Eric Schmidt, then the CEO of Google, shared a concern with the world: “Every two days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization until 2003. I spend most of my time assuming the world is not ready for the technology revolution that will be happening soon.” Are we able to process the volume of information, stimuli, and various distractions coming at us each and every day?
No leader has all the answers. If we’re truly leading, none of us ever are fully confident. If you are indeed leading, you’re attempting to make progress in new territory. You are attempting to do something you have not done before. It’s new; it’s your next.
The point is if you are leading people from where they are to a preferred future, you are out in front. Whether you’re the senior pastor leading the entire church or a volunteer leader of a small group of eight people, you need confidence.
You need genuine confidence to know you are heading in the right direction, at the right time, and making the right decisions that will help you get there.
So where does your confidence come from?
Paul knew his calling. He was to go to Jerusalem to testify about the grace of God to the Gentiles. Fulfilling his calling was going to press him into adversity. The difficulty did not derail Paul. Nor should difficulty derail you.
To shepherd those who do not want your shepherding you must possess the unshakable knowledge that your identity rests in Christ and his atoning death and resurrection. Your identity does not rest in the size of your church, the eloquence of your sermons, or the number of books you have published. Know that you know that you know that your calling is first to Jesus, then to the ministry.
What usually happens in an organization when someone decides to think about ramping down is they choose a successor. The problem is that they spend way too much time continuing to do the work of their role. So on a graph, majority of the time used is on continuing their work. Next, they have the opportunity to begin to develop someone. On that same graph, this amount of time is small compared to the time spent continuing to do the work of their role. And finally, they are creating a life worth living outside of ministry and the church. This time is also small in comparison to time spent continuing to do the work of their role. In many cases, they never really spend time creating a life worth living outside of ministry, so they continue to go go go.