I remember when I would get up at 0-dark:30 every morning to be in the water for swim practice before the sun even thought of coming out. It sucked big time. But I was on a team and knew that my boys were gonna be there too. None of us liked to do it. We were all high school guys and did not want to get up before noon if we had to. But somehow, some way – we managed to do it morning after morning.
Rolling out of your warm and cozy bed on a cold January morning; out of the perfect position of warmth and comfort you would never achieve, well, at least till the next nite. And I knew what I was getting up to do. I knew it was not a shower and a cup of hot coffee, but a sub-zero lap pool calling my name – begging me to burn calories. And that steam that sizzled off the top of the water was all a facade... a lie from the swim gods – laughing at my stupidity.
In I would jump and instintaniously wake up to the smell of chlorine and crisp air. And that is how it went. Every morning. This is how I feel about ministry much of the time. We spend so much time thinking about what we have to do that by the time we get to doing it, we are behind and playing catch up. I was going to swim the same amount of laps whether I got in on time or if I was late. Coach told me that it was up to me if I wanted to be late to first period and get in trouble.
Yes the water was cold – freezing at times – but I knew what I had to do to be the best athlete I could be. If I chose not to go then I would be hating it when it came to our swim meets. And it is always at that point when you wish you would have put in the time. It is the same in ministry. You have to put in the time and put it in NOW. Don't wait and procrasitnate on yoru messages or the calls you have to make. When you have camp coming up, get your stuff done so you can do ministry the way it should be done.
When you have events you need to just get on it. Make a list, form a team and get it done. I talk to so many pastors who think that they have the hardest job in the world. Might I remind you that you make a living chillin' with the students and your leaders. They make the time to be at your ministry, so don't give them your excuses. Give them your time, and your best time at that. They will bend over backwards for you if they know you are on top of it. They do not expect perfection, but they do want you to put in more time and effort than they do.
Your leaders should always be putting in more time and effort because they see that you are on it and they want to be more like you. Like a cold pool, we need to jump into our responsibilities and start on them. The more you think about it the more you are going to wonder why you are doing it. Ministry needs to be calculated, yes. But it needs to be done quickly and intuitively. If you are not good at that kind of stuff them form a team and lean on them. But make sure that you are always working harder than they are. Do this and your team will strive for more. Keep the bar high and your ministry will follow.