Friday, February 17, 2012

Coaching, continued

So I met with Terry Walling today, among other things. Here are a few reflections from the day:

  • So often I feel like I do roughly C+ work. I had a long talk with Julie about this over brunch this morning, and then bounced some ideas around with Terry this afternoon. Basically this is a time thing. I scatter myself across too many tasks and don't have time to do what I do best.
  • What I do best is usually -- not always, but usually -- thinking hard and deep about things, then living in authentic relationships that enjoy the fruit of those reflections. So when I scatter myself among too many tasks, I don't have time to think hard and deep about things, and I don't have time to invest those reflections in authentic relationships. I pay lip service to deep thought and I pay lip service to authentic relationships. It's sad.
  • Terry pounded me pretty good today with a few basic insights. Here's one: Up until now you have led based on your skills. You will not be able to continue this. If you are to move forward, you will need to lead people who have expertise you can't match into tasks you can't do. The only way you can lead this kind of people is through your spiritual authority.
  • Spiritual authority comes from being with Jesus. That's it. You get close to Jesus and his smell gets on you and people follow you because you smell like Jesus.
  • Therefore, intimacy with Jesus has to be your highest priority. You have to go deeper with Jesus if you are going to continue moving forward.
  • Don't be afraid to go radical. Don't be afraid to make massive changes in your life if they are the changes that are Jesus-focused, biblical, and that help you move into your sweet spot in ministry. For example, Terry asked me, what would happen if you dealt with the daily tasks and details only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and took other days for deeper thought and intentional relationship building? That's intriguing.
So in the process, with the help of a few people, I revised my Major Role statement. The latest version reads like this:

"I listen for and discern kingdom possibilities and teach biblical truth in order to help people make real change. I equip others for ministry and growth toward maturity in Jesus Christ."

Terry made the point that a major role statement should be like a filter. It lets the big chunks through -- the things I'm really supposed to do. And it stops the other stuff. So if I hold potential tasks up to that, I'll be able to filter what I should say yes or no to, and make decisions about where to spend my time and energy.

So the quiet time, the reflection time, the scripture time, should be listening and discerning kingdom possibilities. Out of that reflection should come a biblical perspective rooted in God's truth revealed in Jesus and in scripture that I can use to help reveal God's plans and God's perspective to people -- maybe hurting people who need to repent, or maybe eager Jesus-followers who need to step up and respond to God's call -- to make real change. Out of that moment of repentance and/or stepping up, I walk with these people to equip them to serve God in new ways and to grow into all God plans for them in Jesus.

Earlier versions of this statement made it more explicitly about the church. As I have thought about that, I've realized that even though I'm trying to think "people" when I read "church," I still fall prey to believing that I'm supposed to be dedicated to the institution. That is not where I'm called to spend my effort. So making it more about people helps me keep it focused where it's supposed to be.

So one thing Terry and I talked about today is that this statement should work for me whether I'm thinking about a discipleship group at church or about spending time with my daughters. I'm thinking we're getting pretty close.

Why am I sharing all this on my blog? Mostly because if you don't have someone who helps you gain perspective on your life, you're missing out. I encourage you to find someone to help coach you through where you're at in life, whether you're just starting out or whether you're coming to the end. No matter where you are, it helps to have someone keep you sharp and help you focus your efforts so that Jesus can use you for his kingdom as fully as possible.

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