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Month: March 2012

Spring break!

Office hours cartoon

Spring is here! Those in our area who missed its official arrival in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, know it has sprung now. Today is the first day of our school district’s spring break. Families are traveling. Kids are celebrating. It is time to take a break.

My family – my wife the teacher, my high school son, and middle school daughter – are all off this week. I’m not. Bad planning, I know. For some of you, a spring break vacation isn’t an option because the lead pastor has taken the week off and you have more to do! This still doesn’t mean you cannot take time to be refreshed.

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Limited Limelight

Out of the spotlight.As associates, or other staff members, we grow accustomed to limited time in the limelight. The lead pastor gets the majority of the “up front” duties while we are in the basement with the youth group, in the nursery with the children, at the booth running production, facilitating a meeting of a small group, or doing other work behind the scenes. For those of us who have made staff-ministry a career, we prefer it this way… most of the time. Other times we can fall into the trap of wondering if anyone notices what we do, or if we are toiling in anonymity.

It is not a character flaw to want your efforts to be noticed. We all do. That should not be a driving factor in our efforts though because that is not what ministry is about. Our role as a staff member is to participate in the ministry of the entire congregation as we lead our particular area(s) no matter who is getting the credit at the moment. We are part of a team where every member matters (see more about this in another post, and Paul’s image of the church as the body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 et al.). It ought not be about who is getting the credit, other than God.

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Despite our best efforts, it didn’t work

"Almost every week I do something no one comes to."

We see it everywhere – American Idol, The Voice, Survivor, The ApprenticeThe Biggest Loser, and more. Every week people give their all only to be told they are not welcome back. They weren’t good enough, weren’t popular enough, were voted off, didn’t make the cut.

As a youth, that happened to me fairly regularly. I would spend a week staying after school to try out for soccer or baseball. Other times I would stay for auditions for a choir or the school play. Then on “cut day” I would slowly approach the list the coach or director posted outside of their office that contained the names of those who “made it.” More often than not, my name was not on the list. I didn’t make the cut. That hurt every time.

Worse, the cold reality that I wasn’t good enough didn’t stay confined to my athletic or vocal abilities. It spilled over into other areas. Rather than feeling I had failed at this specific task, I thought I was a failure. As an insecure adolescent that is understandable. As a professionals that is unacceptable.

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