I start with the premise that many (and, maybe, most) people are trying to do too much and traveling too fast. Our plates are getting bigger and still overflowing.
Two conventional ways of dealing with the problem are:
- Work smarter, not merely longer and harder.
- Delegate to capable people and stay out of their way.
I recently read a very helpful book by Wayne Cordeiro titled, Leading on Empty. You can find a recap under Book Notes at davekraft.org. In Leading on Empty, Wayne makes a distinction between being concerned and being responsible. I am confident he is on to something big.
I am concerned about many things. Does that mean I need to take responsibility and do something about every concern I have? I think not. On March 5 in “My Utmost For His Highest” Oswald Chambers makes the statement that, “The need is never the call.” The needs will always, always exceed my resources.
I should be concerned about many things, but responsible for a few things in light of my gifts, experiences, passion and calendar time. Turning every concern into a personal responsibility could turn my life into a premature death.
So what do I do with those things for which I am concerned but for which I should probably not assume responsibility?
- Pray about them
- Give to the concerns, if there are financial needs
- Find, and develop, others to capably step up to the plate
C. S. Lewis said that “everyone is composed of a few themes,” and the Apostle Paul said, “This one thing I do”--not these 40 things I am responsible for. Longevity in life and ministry will be a result of your saying “no” (refusing responsibility) to a lot of things so you can say “yes” (accepting responsibility) to a few things. May you, by His grace, live a long and fruitful life and not meet Jesus prematurely!