Misinterpreting the Mess

by Apr 7, 2021

As a parent to a toddler, it’s endearing to walk into your kitchen only to find that your child has raided the bag of flour and decided to redecorate the room and the dog leaving quite a disaster. We look at it as a season where they’re growing and learning their boundaries and being creative.

As we grow, it’s almost as if we’ve lost the filter to be able to distinguish which seasons are damaging us and which ones are developing us. Through this last year, we may be in different ships but we were all in the same storm. Many were just trying to hold on while others were questioning why they were on the ship all together.

How do we develop filters to see the cultural and social mess around us with clarity without it affecting us internally?

Here are 3 keys to evaluating your circumstance without devaluing your calling.

  1. Watch for signs of good.

Wayne Dyer is quoted in saying “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Ministry is no exception to this rule. In times of uncertainty it is easy for us to look inwardly and begin questioning the process. Whether we’re still relevant or whether or not what we are doing even matters. 

We don’t have the right to switch our God given role out just because times get hard. If God called you to it, He’s faithful to see you through it. Cheesy, I know but nonetheless true. Uncertainty exposes insecurity and insecurity will cause us to look inwardly and begin to question what was concrete at one point. 

God hasn’t changed, your calling hasn’t changed. Watch for evidence of people taking up a cause. It will re-center you back to the initial reason you began and inspire you to push through.

  1. Be willing to be a student.

The greatest threat to future success is your current success. Different seasons are going to demand another level of understanding. It forces you to unlearn what got you to where you are in order to pick up what’s needed to take you forward. A refusal to be a student in new seasons will limit your relevancy, effectiveness and ability to reach the people you desire to reach. 

Wake up each day willing to do unfamiliar tasks, seek out mentors who excel in skills and areas that you will need in the new season. Release your tendency to lean on your experience and knowledge. If we’ve learned anything this past year it’s that the future is uncertain. And that’s okay. As a leader, your team doesn’t always need certainty, they just need clarity. If there’s a goal and a focus for a certain season, that will be easier to get behind than repeating the same tactics expecting different results. Take your people on a growth journey with you. Resource them with what you’re reading and listening to. Multiply your efforts by investing in the next step for your team. Interpreting messes as opportunities to grow ourselves will give you the patience and grace you need to survive the season. 

  1. Protect your intake

I don’t know about you, but when things are uncertain and I feel out of control, I tend to find myself craving unhealthy food. To be honest, I typically feel worse after having it than I did before. We often will do this unconsciously when we’re stressed and before we know it, we’ve made our position worse. Stress will have effects on your body that you can’t see. This goes for your personal body and the church body. As a leader, what we turn to in order to sustain us in unstable seasons will have trickle effects into our congregations. Healthy habits are essential in uncertain times. Protect what you’re listening to. Protect what you’re watching. Don’t expose yourself to situations that are going to inflame or affirm your doubt. Reset yourself daily on God’s word. Re-establish your confidence in His ability to see you through as He did before. Be selective with your physical diet as it will affect everything else. If the body is healthy, the mind is healthy. Healthy minds allow for healthy decision making in times where our decisions determine our direction.

We can’t expect seasons to not change. Refuse to get comfortable and put your effort into building a routine where you are constantly preparing physically, emotionally and spiritually for change. You’re doing better than you think! Don’t Stop.

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