I’m a yes-man. My “daddy issues” generate in me the desire to be wanted, and my generalist skillset allows me to be helpful in a number of different areas. This mixture means I say yes to entirely too many things. Often, I don’t even realize this is the case until I’m completely overloaded and wondering where I went wrong.
Usually, the easiest way to answer the question of what I should quit is by figuring out what I should never have agreed to in the first place. Two principles have encouraged me to start being more proactive in the tasks I take on: sometimes you must cut through good ideas in addition to bad ones and the less you do, the more valuable you are.
Cutting Through Good Ideas
You can’t do everything. That’s just reality. Thankfully, some of your decisions are made for you by the fact that you don’t want to do everything. That part is easy. Where difficulty comes into play is when you can’t even do all of the things that you do want to do.
When talking about church planting, something we say often at our church is you have to have the ability to cut through bad ideas and good ideas. There are plenty of good ideas that aren’t on mission. Get rid of them. At Valley Life, the goal is to make disciples and plant churches. We have to cut through many good ideas because they don’t align with that vision. And sometimes they do, but they aren’t as effective as what we are already doing, and saying yes to something means saying no to something else.
When this idea works its way down to the personal level, it means you can’t do everything you can do. Instead, you need to focus on the things you should do. How are you uniquely wired and gifted? Concentrate on those skills and continue to develop them. If you are not sure of the answer, seek wise counsel to help you determine what it is you should pursue.
Becoming More Valuable
By now we can see that not only it is impossible to do everything, but it is actually better to specialize in just a handful of things. This doesn’t mean that you should try to do a little as possible in terms of quantity but in variety. Obviously, you should still work hard. However, you will be more effective if you spend your energy on what you do best.
Now, when it comes to church planting, you don’t always have this luxury. Sometimes, you have to do things for the good of the church regardless of where they fall on your skill sheet. But, don’t rule out the possibility that maybe the best thing you can you can do for the church is to find someone else to fill those gaps and stay focused on what only you can do. When you don’t waste your time with stuff you have no business doing, you become more valuable to the church and accomplish more good. It is better to fulfill one or two roles really well than it is to wear a number of hats and do none of them justice.