In his book “The 7 Practices of Effective Ministry”, Andy Stanley asks his readers to start the process outlined in his book by doing one thing: Clarifying the Win. What is it you are shooting for? What steps do we take to get there. As a pastor, our church meets quarterly to remind ourselves what business we are in. I regularly mention it from the pulpit. We are in the business to create transformed lives. To use a term coined by pastor and author Nelson Searcy, we track RTL’s or “Radically Transformed Lives”.
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily administrative work that must be done to keep a church moving forward. It’s easy to create a lot of “busy” work to give yourself and others the impression that you are effectively using your time. This applies in all areas of work but in the pastorate it can take the form of many little tasks that would be better delegated or those that could be done more efficiently. This week, two very different people made decisions to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and thus, began the process of RTL’s. One is perhaps nearing the end of his life (only God knows) and the other is in the very beginnings of her adult life and is having a child. Both saw need of a savior and both have now inherited eternal life from the Master and Creator of all things.
To be certain, those mundane tasks must be done. But as I sat outside on my porch last night and began to consider the week’s events, God used it to bring back a point that I always try to keep front and center. HIS kingdom is what matters. While the “other” things have value, if they are not being tweaked to bring about repentance and RTL’s then they need to be scrapped no matter how nice they look and no matter how much they keep us “busy”. If all my energy isn’t being poured into RTL’s, then I’m wasting my life energy that He gives me. Even pastors need a re-calibration from time to time.
In your business, as a pastor or otherwise, have you Clarified the Win? As a Christian serving in the local church (if you are not the pastor), let me ask you…Are you working toward seeing yours and others’ lives changed? How many RTL’s are you seeing? While Salvation begins the journey, we are called to disciple and mature in our faith. In business, we should celebrate the wins in our company. Even when I worked in radio, our department (On Air) celebrated accoplishments from time to time. No matter how small it was, it was our time to keep our team together. In the church, we celebrate as lives are transformed for God’s glory.
If you’ve not taken time lately to “re-calibrate” and find out why it is you are doing what you are doing, now would be a good time to do it or at least make a note to ponder it at your next break! May God Bless you today.