This is part 2 of a 3 part series on how being a mom has made me a better pastor. Read Part 1 here.
Reason 2: Being a mom has made me a focused leader
Imagine a fleet of 20 boats out at sea, with a limited supply of fuel and resources. We could send all 20 boats on their way with the hope of getting to shore, each with their own idea of how to get there. In the end, the 20 boats might fan out in different directions, eventually run out of fuel and float aimlessly in the water. The other option is sending out just 3 boats with all of the fuel and supplies needed to get to shore, handing each with a map of exactly how to get there.
One of the best things about a collection of people working together is that there are a lot of good ideas. One of the worst things about a collection of people working together is that there are a lot of good ideas. Ideas are great, but people are busy, over-committed and burnt out. Have you noticed?
Being a mom of little ones has helped me to see the value of focus.
The last thing church should be is another box to check on the “to-do” list, or another stressor on the calendar. Church shouldn’t be something people are trying to squeeze in between soccer practice and committee meetings. It’s time to simplify. It’s time to quit trying to do it all, and figure out how to excel at a few things.
This means getting good at saying “no”, and you probably know that saying “no” can make you more enemies than friends. As a mom, I’ve learned to be good at saying “no”. My girls have great ideas for building forts, designing craft projects and imagining up scenarios to act out. In the evening, we usually have an hour after dinner time before we have to get ready for bed. That isn’t enough time to make a fort, sock puppets and dress up in character. We could begin each, and quit halfway, or we can choose one activity to really invest in for the evening. Inevitably, I have to say “no” to some really fun and creative ideas.
As a leader, I’ve learned that saying “no” actually means we are able to do more. Being able to focus on a vision means we are able to do less with more impact, attract more people and have more energy for the things that matter.
BONUS: My girls have given me a compelling reason to stop. While our culture is frantically operating a 24/7 routine, being a mom has taught me to have good boundaries and find balance in my life. I value the time I have with my girls, and I am able to resist the temptation to fill every minute with noise. I have learned a healthy rhythm, which gives me better clarity to lead.
Check back tomorrow for reason 3!
First published on the Evangelical Covenant Church's Commission for Biblical Gender Equality Blog.