“So Now What?” - Whitney George’s Closing Keynote at WFX 2014
Instead of focusing on the massive gap between our church and “that giga-church with all the toys,” what if we focused on the smaller, more achievable goals?
Philip Yancey’s book “Disappointment with God” has a perfectly misleading title. At face value, it makes you think he’s headed in one direction when he’s really headed in the other. Yance explains that everyone is going to experience disappointment.It’s simply a matter of whether you go through your disappointment with God, or without Him. I was reminded of Yancey’s “disappointment” premise during Whitney George’s keynote address that closed out WFX 2014 in Dallas earlier this month. George, who is executive pastor of Tulsa, Okla.’s “Church on the Move” was previously the church’s director of creative arts—so he knows a thing or two about the technical/creative processes of many—dare I say, most, churches.George took on the subject of disappointment, frustration and burn out head-on in his address. He went to great lengths to suggest that the frustration felt by many church tech and creative staffs is due to a focus on things we cannot control. It’s a natural human tendency. We usually focus on the things we don’t have—enough time, enough money, enough talent, enough volunteers, the right gear, etc., etc. He offered examples from the Bible: Adam and Eve lived in paradise, yet they decided it wasn’t enough and took the snake up on his offer of “more.” In the New Testament, the disciples were disappointed with the fact that Jesus wasn’t going to set up an earthly kingdom—at least the sort of kingdom they had envisioned—even while they had the opportunity to experience Jesus' awesome power first-hand.In his keynote, George rightly suggests the solution to the TD’s frustration may not specifically be more (fill in the blank). Those are things we probably don’t control. We should instead focus on the things we can control, like getting the most we can out of our current systems, talent, staff, and budget.Here’s another way to address how we address the situation: Many of us can attend the Willow Creeks, the Saddlebacks and even Church on the Move and come away frustrated and depressed because, “our church can’t do that.” But what if we focused on a smaller goal? What if, instead of focusing on the massive gap between our church and “that giga-church with all the toys,” we focused just on the smaller, more precise, more achievable goal of improving our (you fill in the blank)—just one manageable area upon which to concentrate. Once you’ve made improvements in that area you can move on and close the gap in the next area.Setting massive, unrealistic goals can be a recipe for frustration. Achieving a series of small, incremental objectives is the ticket to a more satisfying, enjoyable workplace. Editor’s Note: Credit for the “gap” concept goes to Dan Sullivan and his Strategic Coach program, of which the writer is a client.
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