As I’m getting prepared to take a four-day bike trip in mid-August, I’ve been doing some tune-ups. As you may know, I had quad surgery a while back. I did the assisted rehab and they did an outstanding job. However, I found during recovery that the body would naturally compensate for an injury. The injury on my left side made my right side work harder, which tightened up my right hip. That in turn led to my having a problem with my right hamstring and left calf.
Whenever I have overseen people, I have tried to manage them in such a way that not only benefits the organization but also develops the person. When I was a senior pastor, I would think of a new challenge every year for each person I oversaw.
I’d think, “What do they need to develop to their maximum potential?” and then I’d deliberately pick something that would help them grow and stretch in a particular area.
One year I couldn’t think of a new challenge for a young man I was overseeing. I prayed and listened to the Spirit, but I just couldn’t come up with anything that would stretch him in his current position.
Ministry is like rubber bands and shoelaces. With rubber bands, no stretch equals no growth. But if you stretch people too far they break. Shoelaces need to be tied together to function, just as people need to be tied together in relational networks in order to function well.
What other analogies do you use to describe working with people in ministry?
Where should we set the bar in training people to do ministry? It’s tempting to set the bar too high too fast. An athlete training for the high jump wouldn’t start with the bar seven feet high. He or she would start much lower and then work their way up with intentional challenges that require an appropriate amount of stretch. Whenever a certain height was no longer challenging, the bar would be raised.