Best Ministry Decision Ever

In the last few months I have thought in new ways about boundaries in my life and about how God is calling me to prioritize. I am sure that I am not the only one that cannot get it all done in a day! There are so many things to do and not so many hours. This morning in my quiet time I listened to a CD that was given to me last week by Elwood Jones (our current Worship Leader). The CD was a recording of Andy Stanley speaking on the topic of "His Best Ministry Decision Ever." It had me crying more than once. In the spirit of wanting to capture what I learned, I wanted to blog a few highlights (this may be for you as much as it is for me):

  • Even if I work all night every night, I will never accomplish all the things I dream of accomplishing. On the flip side, how many kids do you know that have looked at their parents and said, "Mom and Dad...I think that we have played enough. You really need to head in and get some work done." There is never enough time to do enough!
  • Here's a trap we all find ourselves in: If I don't, it won't. If I don't, she won't. If I don't, he won't. If I don't, we won't.
  • Especially for those in church work, we say this: "God, if you will take care of my wife and kids, fill the gap, protect them and care for them, I will build the best church you've got! I will build your church if you will build my family."
  • Meanwhile the Bible still reads the same as it always has (no new edits have been made removing key ideas that Christ had in mind):
    • Christ will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!
    • I am to love my wife as Christ loves the church.
  • So, do any of us ever get it backwards? We build the church and ask Christ to build our families?
  • The best ministry decision that Andy Stanley ever made was12 years ago when he stopped cheating his family and started cheating the church.
  • Stanley told God this: "Lord, I can give you 45 hours a week. That is all I have for you! If you can build a church on that, then I am your man! I will give you the best I've got in those 45 hours and then I will go home and love my family that way that you love the church!"
  • After doing this his mind flooded with "what ifs." What if the church doesn't grow? What if my staff thinks I am lazy? What if the place falls apart? What if vital things fall through the cracks? What if people don't get cared for? What if they fire me?

And Stanley's decision to cheat the church has led to 15,000 members, 10 campuses, a healthy long term staff, a sustainable pace, national impact and a healthy marriage and home! He says no to almost every speaking engagement and event that he is invited to...because he told God that he would give him 45 hours at North Point Community Church and the rest to his family.

Several things have pushed me into thinking these things out over the last year; Becoming a Dad, a deepening appreciation for Tricia, my desire for long term health and results in ministry and my desire to model a healthy home for the people who look to me as their leader. Lord, might my home be in line with your will for it and might CCF be full of healthy homes.