Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pros and Cons of a GREAT season

Right now, I am in a very good place.  Having experienced the struggle and discouragement of not being in a good place, I'm grateful for this season.  It's been a long time since I felt as good as I feel right now.  And everything in my life and most things at our church seem to be firing on all cylinders.  I mean just about everything is working - the energy is palpable, there is buzz.  My family is healthy, my kids are doing well in school and love God.  My spiritual life is good.  My marriage is as awesome.  Friendships are healthy.  We're following the Dave Ramsey 7-baby-steps plan and our financial life looks a little brighter every day.

It's all good right now!  And I often say that we should savor these seasons. They come and go, and we should enjoy them when they're here.

But there's a downside.  I actually feel so good about our church and I'm genuinely so excited about it, I have a tendency to just live at PCC 24/7.  Of course, I go home.  But even when I'm there, all I think about is all that's going on here.  I'm not anxious about it.  In fact, I'm actually off-the-charts excited!  I think about Westchester, the Preschool, Leadership Development, children and student minstries, administration, small groups, ways to pay for our building and pave the parking lot, care and guest services and hospitality, how to get more folks connected, what our next marketing push should look like, can we up the ante with missions, the upcoming service series', the teaching team, the Blue Team, the Steering Team, a new structure, incorporation, new ventures in middle school ministry, how our church should be led in a 3+ campus scenario, the playground, we need to incorporate, I need to spend more time with leaders one-on-one, we need some paint in the building and to finish the trim, how can we upgrade to HD?, I need to revise and update the 101 class, is there a better way to partner with Atlee?, can we have a workday at the building?, how are we going to celebrate PCC turning 10 this fall?, my office needs the touch of someone who knows decor, what are we doing to do to make Easter really exciting this year?, how can we better support our staff, are we communicating effectively with our leaders, and - oh yea - Sunday will be here in 5 days and my message is not finished!

All this is not intended to invoke sympathy or offers to help (though we don't turn those down!), but rather to note that many of us fall into this trap:  when things are going well and we really love what we do, we tend to pour ourselves into that work beyond sustainability.  'Why not?' we say.  'This is so much fun!'  And it's true.  But so is the old adage, "too much of a good a bad thing."

When I give into my temptation to get unbalanced, I set myself up for an inevitable run-in with an unmovable wall.  That collision is guaranteed.  It will bring with it all kinds of negative things, as my life gets increasingly off-kilter in every area.  That's not good for me or anyone else around me.

Being aware of this phenomenon this early in the process is good.  It will help me be smarter and manage my energy and time and thoughts in a healthier way.

I know I'm not the only one who faces this challenge.  Don't let a great season be cut short because you fell too hard into it!


April said...

I am so happy that you are in this place. You deserve to savor it and enjoy it. Soak it all in. It looks like everything is coming together. I am so proud of my church and my pastor.

xxx said...

By way of an introduction, I am your Tammy-under-the-bridge. Let me tell you of God's sense of humor. Last week, I put the last 37 cents I owned into the collection bucket at Westchester. It was liberating. I no longer have to worry about losing it, or someone stealing it, or anything. I missed your church Sunday, to go visit another, but it lacked. Left me feeling hollow. Then, today, Wendy Blankemayer reminded me to watch on PCC wired, and I had to stop in the middle of your sermon to go hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. Had to. Without a cent to my name, God blesses me so much, that I lack for absolutely nothing. I have more friends, now, then I've ever had, I get to meet the best people in the entire city, at Monroe Park, and as I told Melissa Cordle, last night, I'm drenched in M&M's. Neck deep. For God is great, and his mercy endures forever.