Haste Makes Waste

by vernsanders on January 10, 2012

I’ve been thinking about patience lately. [full disclosure: I am not a patient person about most everything in life...I think it is because my brain seems (at least to me) to work faster than life progresses...fortunately I am patient when it comes to teaching things -but I have made a conscious effort to be more patient about everything for the past decade or so...]

I think the whole world is less patient these days. That’s probably because for a generation or so we have been “trained” to believe that “fast” anything is not only better, it is some sort of inalienable right. Take fast food (please! – rim shot sound). I try to remind myself that “fast” doesn’t necessarily mean instantaneous…there is SOME prep that has to be done, even if it involves a microwave.

And then there’s ministry.

Nothing in ministry seems to happen “fast” when you look at it from the ground, but you get a different picture from the satellite view. There are times and seasons. Sometimes you have to put in the planting and tending time in order to get the reaping time. Everybody wants the reaping time. Not everybody’s patience holds out if the planting and tending time takes longer than a wheat grower’s season in Canada.

So after reading this blog post today (“Should I resign from my current church?”), my first thought was whatever happened to bloom where you are planted?

I’m not suggesting that people should stay in unhealthy ministry situations, or that one should never move in response to a call to a “better” ministry. What I am saying is that some people are called to plant, some to tend, and that not everybody gets to reap. (sigh…)

We’ve had an example of that at the Creator offices over the past year or so. I’ve been (in the humble opinions of many people who know me well) working way too hard…way too long. [full disclosure: they're probably right...but the work needs to be done anyway...] So I’ve been catching grief from people who want me to slow down. And, in 2011, I started really hearing the message. [standard excuses that crumbled were: easier to do it myself than explain how to do it to someone else; can't get anybody to do this for what I'm willing to pay...etc.]

So, in full planting mode, I started by getting an admin, and dedicated time [ugh...lost time, I thought] to getting my admin up to speed. It was painful for the admin. I know that because I was told that. But at a certain point, stuff stopped being on my desk. Woo Hoo!

Long story short, as of last week, Creator now has what I think is a great team of people. And we are getting things done that I could never have done on my own. [full disclosure: control issues...take my own advice issues...]

Why am I writing about this? Because at the beginning of this process, I wasn’t patient. I wanted what we have now, back then. But if I had tried to do this without the planting and tending process, the team would have been weaker, and I would probably have ended up giving up…or worse, been stuck in an endless cycle of training, while nothing got done.

And that’s true of ministry. Sometimes a person’s impatience can result in missing the reaping time. And, as Bruce Springsteen wrote: “that’s where the fun is.”

Now if you’ll excuse me…I’m leaving early today because my team has things well under control.

How about you? Got an impatience problem? Built a good team? Please leave a comment and let me know your experience.

Ipod shuffle status: 3533 (Don’t Wait – Dashboard Confessional)  of 7875

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