“One of the great dangers of leadership is this: we stop doing ministry out of imagination and we start doing ministry out of memory. We learn how and forget why. We stop creating the future and start repeating the past.” -Mark Batterson
Being Tired is another obvious obstacle to doing ministry out of imagination rather than memory. Sometimes, it’s just easier to brush off an old message or lesson than to wrestle with a new one. There are definitely going to be times in ministry when the energy level is lower than what would be best. Creativity/Imagination takes more energy than repetition, so during the ‘tired’ times it’s easy to fall into memory mode.
But worse than being tired is Being Lazy. It’s not just a temporary resting on the past, but a willful decision to repeat yesterday even when tomorrow is crying for our attention. It’s knowing that a new approach is needed, but being unwilling to invest the energy to create or discover that new approach.
But a world that never stops moving requires our ministries to continually adapt. We can’t afford to to just repeat last year’s program. Though it may have been exactly what last year needed, last year is not today. And today is not tomorrow. We can’t be lazy about ministry. If we’re tired, perhaps we need to make room for rest.
I have to confess that I do not do this well. Coming to the end of the December, I’m sitting on more leftover vacation days than I’ve used the entire rest of the year. Dumb. Have I accomplished more by not taking more breaks? I don’t think so. But I sure have made myself tired. I’m worn down – and I know that I’m not able to offer my best because of that. I need rest.
To stop the gears that grind the heart,
the mind, the soul, the you who lives,