The U-Haul is packed up and we’re somewhere between Grottoes, VA and Greenville, NC. I won’t have time to post for the next few days during the move, so I’ve prepared some posts ahead of time about the lessons I’ve learned during our nine years in VA.
Reflection #4: Major in the Majors… or You’ll Pay a Major Price
It’s easy to get caught up in the minor details of life. It’s especially true in church planting. In the moment, not having anything come through the monitors during a sound check seems like a big deal. It isn’t. Not being able to play a video that clearly hammers home your main point in your message (and you only have time for one point… not six, not three, not two… but that’s for another post) seems like a big deal. It isn’t. When the security guard shows up 45 minutes late to unlock the building you’re renting, it really puts the crunch on your set-up time. Guess what, chicken butt? It’s not a big deal.
Telling people they need to spend regular time with God when you haven’t cracked the Bible for yourself in three months is a big deal.
Telling people to pray when you haven’t spent more than 45 seconds a day praying (and that was for your food) is a big deal.
Neglecting your children and your spouse because of “church work” is a REALLY big deal.
I’ve gone through all of these things. I’ve had to work really hard to take time with God regularly (it still isn’t where I want it to be). I learned a long time ago that what doesn’t get done by 5:00 PM will still be there tomorrow. Have their been times when I’ve had to put in extra hours during the day and had super crazy weeks? Sure. But they aren’t normal. They are the exception. As I get used to a new routine, I’m going to have to make even more adjustments to make sure that my priorities stay in the right order.
My priorities are this:
- My relationship with Jesus.
- My relationship with my wife.
- My relationship with my kids.
- My church.
- My job.
#4 and 5 used to be one and the same. They no longer are (even though I see my job as an extension of my church). Do not assume that if you get #1 right, the rest will just fall into place. A lot of guys spend loads of time in the Bible and in prayer, but their marriages are suffering because the church comes first (and thus, their relationship with God really isn’t the priority). Each takes work, and it takes work to keep them in order.
Would you step down from your position in your church if your spouse asked you to? Would you get out of professional ministry if your spouse asked you to? That was how God first put the bug in my ear that we were supposed to move to Greenville–my wife essentially asked me to replace myself and move (it had nothing to do with the church or my job, but in asking me to move, she asked me to do these thing). I resisted for a few minutes, but the Spirit moved and I soon realized what was up–I was to move our family to Greenville, NC, get out of “professional ministry”, and tentmake while starting a new network of microchurches. And I’m completely cool with that.
Too many guys are paying a major price by majoring in minor things. We must work hard to make sure our priorities are truly in place, or we’ll start majoring in the minors… and paying a heavy price.
Have you majored in the minors? What did you learn from the experience?