Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Making Yourself Indispensable

Several years ago, I made this challenge to the ministers with whom I worked:  “How can you make yourself indispensable this year?”  My challenge was predicated on the idea that they should discover something that they offered to students, churches, and other stakeholders that would be missed if it were no longer present.  Was I asking them to seek ways to assure their job security?  Probably.

As I think about this now, I would still ask the same question but my motivation would be different.  I would be more interested in these individuals identifying the ministry, service, or relationship that each one could offer that was unique to each of them as an individuals.

I have often thought about this quote:  “What are the things that you should do, what are the things someone else should do, and what are things no one should do?” I would add to this, “What is the thing that only you can do?”  In other words, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done.

Each of us is gifted by God in special ways.  Each of us has passions, gifts, talents, and skills that make us unique.  There are things that you can do better, more effectively, or with more ability than I can (and vice versa.)  This is not meant to make us proud but humble.  God has a special task for each of us.

What is your special contribution to the Kingdom of God?  It will be determined not only by the attributes I mentioned above but also by your location, your life stage, and your availability.  You function in a particular context—family, work, church, and community—that is the stage upon which you serve.  At different phases in our lives, we have opportunities that will never come our way again.  You must also decide if you want to pursue the special opportunities that God places before you; you can say “No.”

What are some examples?  Perhaps this is the year that you take some time to help one of your children discover and pursue an innate talent.  Perhaps this is the time to discover your passion for a particular type of ministry and start preparing to do it.  Perhaps this is the year that you will sit down with your spouse to start dreaming and planning about your retirement together.  Perhaps this is the opportunity to mentor a person who needs the knowledge and skills you possess.

Give it some thought.  What is the most important thing you can do in 2013 to make yourself indispensable?

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