Can you answer these two questions?

  1. Are you on the right bus?
  2. Are you on the right seat of that bus?

Our church staff read a book written by Jim Collins and I can still see multiple correlations between the ideas presented and the issues that we face in ministry (and life in general).  If you haven’t read it, it’s worth your time – but please note – if you aren’t 100% business minded, you might need a dictionary close by.

goodtogreat

One of the chapters that I loved in this book, talked about having people in the right place within your business.  If you think of your business (or ministry) as a bus, everyone on that bus is bought-in to the mission and headed in the same direction.  However, often times we have people sitting in the wrong seats and they become Debbie-Downers.  They make the ride miserable for everyone else.  

You’re probably already nodding your head because you can think of someone immediately who is the fit-throwing child within your organization.  Collins recommends that we simply help them find the right seat on the bus and boom — they turn into a Fred Flintstone, picking that bus up and RUNNING toward the goal. (Why do I think in movie lines? Forrest Gump, anyone?)

running

I was quite shocked when God first led me into ministry.  I was the mom who struggled with the f-bomb.  What in the world was I doing in ministry???  The position that I ultimately landed in was about 50% the right seat and 50% the wrong seat.  I love people, their stories, and helping them find their right seat on the bus.  But keeping up with them and refining their skills turned out to be a real deal breaker for me.  Not because I didn’t want to, but because I wasn’t made to.

I believe that God gives us talents, dreams, desires, and even Spiritual Gifts that we are meant to use to do His business here on earth.   

1 Corinthians Chapter 12 RDT (Red Neck Translation <– that’s a joke, please don’t go looking for that translation) goes into all the details of how each of us is given something different than someone else – so that – we can work together to git’r done.  The Apostle Paul even says that we can’t have ALL the gifts because that would make it pointless to need other people.

If you think about a bus again, it needs things that appear similar to do very different jobs:

  • It needs wheels and tires.
  • It needs an engine and pistons.
  • It needs oil and gas.

If we could ALL dream big, nothing would ever get done.  If NONE of us could dream big, we would never invent anything new.  Different gifts for different roles.  (Did anyone else just sing the Different Strokes theme song?)

My ministry position only nailed 50% of the gifts I was given which meant I was the teeter-totter in our group.  I was fired up half the time and the other time I was dragging the anchor and whining.  Ultimately, an illness forced me to leave my position on staff, but I finally had the courage to start having conversations on my way out about how I didn’t feel like that job was the right fit for me.  No one argued with me on that, probably because they could see it too.

Because God is gracious and He pursues us, I have been added to the church staff a second time – and THIS time my role utilizes 90% of my gifts.  10% of my job is dealing with stuff I don’t feel gifted to do, but it’s necessary and it pushes me to think outside of the box – which is a good thing!

So what, Ann.  Yay you.  You have a job you love and I hate mine so …whatever.  I’m glad you found a job you like.

No.  Not “yay Ann” — YAY GOD for being smart enough to give us specific gifts.

Do yourself a favor.  Take a Spiritual Gifts Assessment.

I like the Spiritual Assessment tool at Lifeway.com.  You can download the PDF here.  It is easy to read, understand, and answer.  It has a simple scoring tool, AND it includes descriptions of all the gifts.  This is not an end-all, be-all test that will show you the path you must take.  This is a tool to help you assess why you’re dragging anchor.  It’s meant for you to use as a brainstorming tool to figure out how God has specifically gifted YOU.

Google your gifts, talk to your co-workers about them, talk to your family about them.  Maybe it’s time for you to have a courageous conversation with your boss.  Maybe it’s time for you to lead a ministry at your church.

Maybe it’s time for you to appreciate where you are planted because you’re gifted and meant to be there.

http://www.chairmeninc.com/index.html
http://www.chairmeninc.com/index.html

So back to the beginning we go.

  1. Are you on the right bus?
  2. Are you on the right seat of that bus?

If the answer to either question is “no” — then it’s time you do something about it, because Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plans He has for you and if you know you’re on the wrong bus or even the wrong seat — God hasn’t been able to use you the way He needs to.

Git’r done.

 

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4 thoughts on “right bus, wrong seat

  1. The more I “get to know you”, the more I wish we could hang out for an afternoon. Thank you for being an encourager. I’m just guessing that was a pretty obvious trait on your test.
    P.S. I think in movie quotes too. I quote ‘Better off Dead’ at least once a day. It’s perfectly normal. 😉

    Like

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