I am currently reading the book Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant At A Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry. This book equips creatives (someone who produces something with their mind) with the tools, practices, and behaviors to perform at optimum efficiency.
Henry teaches us that one thing highly productive creatives do is prune. Pruning is the process of eliminating that which is the least effective thereby creating room for that which will yield increased growth. So how does a person know what to prune from their life?
Henry gives five questions that people should ask to discover the answer:
Henry goes on to add, “If the answer is Yes to any of these questions, then you may want to consider eliminating the project from your plate. As you do, you will likely find the increased space in your life yields new insights and ideas for your more pressing projects.”
Pastors, after reading Henry’s list, I had to wonder how many of our best volunteer leaders would answer Yes to not only one but all five questions. I wonder how many high-capacity volunteers live in absolute frustration over the lack in advancement in mission and vision and are considering resigning their positions.
I also had to wonder that if they did resign, if they did prune their church leadership responsibilities, because their personal growth would increase dramatically by doing something else with a greater return, would they be wrong in doing so?
Pastors, I want you to know something about high-capacity volunteers. We deeply, deeply love our church. We think the gospel message delivered through the local church is the hope of the world. Other than our families, there is nothing more fulfilling, more energizing, and more satisfying than serving our local churches. We love it!
But you need to know something else. Time and influence are our most valuable commodities. Time is the one thing that once given away cannot be returned. It’s gone. Therefore, we steward it well and do not want to waste it. We want you to lead. We want to help you lead. We want you to preach the vision, bleed the vision, live the vision, and demand that we do so as well. We want the vision to own you, not you own the vision. We give you permission to even be jealous of and mean about the vision. It must be protected.
It is horrifying for me to think of high-capacity volunteers “pruning” a leadership position so that they can be freed up for “greater growth.” That is heartbreaking! What a waste. What an awful waste. But the more and more lay leaders I speak with, they just may be right.
Pastors, what can we do to address these concerns and reverse this thinking?