If you are juggling multiple balls in the air, then today’s blog is for you. Our guest blogger – Pastor Andy Maldonado was the executive pastor at Evangel Christian Center, and is now the Leadership Development Pastor at Christ Tabernacle. In addition, Pastor Andy has over 30 years of ministry experience and a heart for church leaders. You are going to enjoy this.
Recently I saw one of my favorite characters from my childhood: Mr. Potato Head.
The idea came from a Brooklyn-born toy inventor by the name of George Lerner. He developed the idea of pronged like body parts that could be pinned into fruits, and vegetables. He sold the idea to Hasbro toys in 1952 and they developed his idea into Mr. Potato Head which sold for 98 cents.
The fascination with Mr. Potato Head was that children would learn the proper placing of face parts but part of the fun was creating odd faces by placing eyes where ears went and arms where noses or feet went. The only exception was that there was only one hat and only one place to put it.
You see Mr. Potato Head had only one hole in the top of his head. He could only wear one hat at a time. So the attempt to force more that one object for a hat would be unnatural.
You were made for “one hat”
I’ve gone pretty far back in my childhood memory bank to try and make a critical point. As leaders in our church or organizational settings we try to fill many roles, take on many responsibilities or try to be everything for everyone.
We were made to have “one hat” on at a time. Yet we try to balance too many hats. Some we even force into place.
To the undiscerning eye this all sounds very noble and even spiritual, but in reality it is a strategy (or should I say a lack of strategy) that will take us down a very dark and destructive path.
How God created us to function!
God created us to function effectively in one major area of influence and He provided abilities and talents to us (usually in the form of people) to support and aid in our major area of influence.
For example you may have the spiritual gift of leadership God then either puts inside you supporting gifts of administration or communication, but primarily He will surround you with people that are gifted organizationally or have great gifts of proclamation or prayer.
So that you won’t feel burdened to have to fill those other roles yourself. This is most true when you are not gifted in areas outside of your calling.
The Lord of the harvest
Many of us, especially Sr. Leaders, feel that we must show our people how truly invested we are in the “work of The Lord” thereby convincing them to join us. This seems very heroic but not biblical!
Jesus’ strategy was for us to “pray to The Lord of the harvest for more laborers.”
Jesus knew that a major need for us would be more workers.
If we continue to wear as many “hats” as necessary in a short time three things will happen:
- Your family will become marginalized. Your spouse and your children (especially if they are young) will begin to miss you. The major decisions and events will be carried out without your much needed input.
- The care of your flock/employees will suffer: you will have less time to socially relate to your people. The amount of time you can spend counseling and helping them navigate life will diminish. Lastly you will give the impression of aloofness. Which in a leader is detrimental to credibility.
- You will begin to physically, emotionally, and spiritually fade: you will become increasingly tired and fatigued. You will begin to resent your calling and your time with God for the replenishment of your soul will be abandoned.
Four Steps for wearing multiple “hats”
Let me give you four next steps to consider:
- Place yourself under the supervision, counsel, teaching of someone you trust outside your organization for the purpose of accountability.
- Schedule a weekly time for R n R (rest and restoration) preferably with your family. Include in this time exercise and fun.
- Begin to train the people with the supporting gifts to wear those hats that you feel right now you must wear.
- Pray with a group of other leaders for the specific workers needed for you and your organization to complete the mission assigned to you by God.
Please consider the advice of an old Toy: only wear the “hat” designed for you specific head.
God’s Blessings to you from a fellow hat wearer. Don’t forget to download the 5 Strategies to saying “No”!
Pastor Andy Maldonado