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There is nothing like starting out a week of middle school work camp with a blunder. You plan, you prep, you organize and only to find yourself problem solving from the get go. This Monday started Camp SMILE, where our church along side of three other churches get together to serve in the Baltimore City/County area. You would think that after five years of doing the same thing over and over again that we would have ironed out simple details. We didn’t, because of a change in location, and overconfidence we did not clearly coordinate with parents where and how to pick up their child at the end of the first day. What should have been a smooth operation was a little bit of a traffic jam on a major road.
Fortunately, after patience and plenty of God’s grace we had a system going and all the problems were resolved. Still, it was a failure that could have avoided.
No one likes to fail; however, there are times when it’s inevitable. In those times it’s God, showing us something that we need to improve on. It’s in those times when we need to let go and let Him lead us. But, then there are the times when we fail because of our own doing. Those times could be caused by:
- No Direction: You will fail if you cannot clearly communicate how or what your audience is supposed to do. If you leave action steps up to assumption, people will come up with their own. Whether it’s planning an event, giving a message or initiating a new policy you need to be clear on what you want people to know and what you want them to do.
- Insecurity In Authority: If you are a youth minister you are a leader. You have the authority and responsibility to educate and empower people. But, when you question your own authority you show insecurity. When you show insecurity people will notice and then doubt your ability to lead. It’s not a matter of faking your role of leadership, it’s about filling yourself with confidence.
- Lack Of Passion: Unfortunately there are going to be times when you are asked to do something you don’t want to do. The worst thing you could do is purposely allow it to fail. If you have a lack of passion behind a project, team up with someone who does. Allow their enthusiasm to be contagious and it could spread to you. Don’t allow your lack of passion to disable the idea because it might be bigger than you think.
- Too Much Going On: If you move too fast you are bound to make mistakes. There is a pressure to produce over and over again at a rate of 100%. That’s impossible. If you want to be efficient you need to find a pace that doesn’t use you up and burn you out. When our energy is depleted we have a higher chance of making some big mistakes.
- Prideful Decisions: Our pride can cause us to oversee upcoming problems. Our pride can cause us to make a decision that lead to selfish outcomes, which inevitably means failure. It’s important to surround yourself with men and women who can speak truth into your life. Give others permission to call you out, so that if you can take the time to check your heart.
Failure is not something you want to make a habit. Be sure to surround yourself with wisdom, find a pace and craft your communication. In the end you’ll set up safe guards that will help you avoid that costly error.
What is the largest contribution to your messups? How do you safeguard against failure?