8.2

Achieving results by any means necessary, is not necessarily achieving results.  Awhile back a perfect storm of technology hit our household at Christmastime.  We have four children, and our oldest two boys desperately wanted iTouches.  So did our younger children.  Like any family though, we didn’t have enough money to purchase 4 of these items, and weren’t planning on necessarily getting them one, or two, or three, or four (gulp).

As my wife (Marque) and were in no desperate rush to grant this expensive Christmas wish list request, we were surpriesed at how this all changed so quickly.  First, a Black Friday Sale came just after thanksgiving. At the same time we had just received a large and surprising rebate check, as well as a previously unplanned for early Christmas bonus.  It was such a perfect storm that we purchased 2 new ipods at a greatly discounted rate.  Within a few months, our other children had collaborated used toys and video games together and purchased 2 more lightly-used ipod touches.  All of a sudden, all 4 of our kids had ipod touches.  It was crazy.  Perhaps this is a good time to mention that though I love technology, we live on a very limited budget and only own 1 family car with high miles.

An interesting thing happened once the kids were all able to have their own ipod devices for games: they shared.  Of course, usually this is a GREAT thing!  If our girl was particularly skilled at a difficult level of Angry Birds, our 3 boys would ask her to beat it on their devices.  If one of our boys mastered a secret necessary on a detective type game, the other kids would be sure to get the information from him.  On one level, it was cool.  Without realizing it, they were collectively working together to help each other achieve things on a singular level.
More recently though, this has started to bother me.  It’s almost as if sometimes they give up on an individual level much too quickly.  The very act of riding on the coat tales of others towards a desired outcome, becomes a success that wasn’t truly earned. They are missing out on the process of working hard and discovering what they are personally capable of, and they are not developing their own individual skills.  It might just be a video game, but I don’t want them going through life always finding the short-cut and always needing others to achieve tasks they are full capable of.

It makes me wonder how many times and different ways that we as Christian Leaders do the same thing. Do I read my Bible to be with and learn from the Lord? Or am I just preparing for my next formal sermon?  Am I listening to the podcasted sermon because the teacher is able to help usher me to the throne of grace?  Or am I actually just mining it for teaching cues or stories I can use later?  Do I attend a worship service because I need to worship my creator?  Or am I there because it’s probably a wise political move to be seen?  These questions can also be applied in areas beyond our development as ministry leaders, yet as ministry leaders, we need to ask them of ourselves while seeking severe honestly.

….I’m way past 15 minutes but this is a good start.

 

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