Thursday, December 20, 2007

Finally, NUMBER 1

Editors Note: If you made it this far, thanks for your indulgence! Here are my pillars of personal, ministry freedom!

#10 I Stopped Comparing Myself To Others

#9
I Stopped Worrying About Who Is Absent

#8
I Stopped Measuring Myself By Singular Activities

#7 I Stopped Waiting For Something To Happen To Me

#6 I Stopped Thinking That I Could Mine Every Truth From Every Scripture Every Time

#5 I Stopped Putting Presentation And Program Over People

#4 I Stopped Promoting Myself And My Virtues

#3 I Stopped Letting Others Dictate My Load

#2 I Stopped Listening To Exclusive Groups

And now, for number 1...

I Stopped Promising Things I Wasn't Sure I Could Deliver!

Hello All,


Ministry often moves at the speed of light, especially on Sundays! Ministering at the Packinghouse presented the tremendous challenge of mass humanity. Three services on Sunday morning with over 2,500 people coming through the doors, each a loving member deserving of pastoral attention and the warmth of friendship. On my end, I wanted to connect and meet with many more than I ever had the time to fulfill. It was overwhelming, and I was just one of the Youth Pastors! I can't begin to imagine Pastor Ed's responsibility.


As I began to be noticed by the congregation as the worship leader, the phenomenon increased exponentially. I found myself promising and committing myself to things left and right. I walked down one aisle and heard myself say, "I'll be praying about that" or "Let's do a lunch this week." I wanted to get connected and I wanted to honor my word, but I found that my word was often compromised by my own impetuous desire to be accessible.
This really bothered me after awhile. I started feeling like a real hypocrite! I remember seeing people who I promised to pray for, that thanked me for praying for them, while I had completely forgotten about their needs and neglected to pray for them at all! Other people would call me in the middle of the week and say, "Hey, are we still on for lunch today?" only to hear me squirm in uncomfortability, looking for the most appropriate way to apologize.

I decided that this was going to stop! My word was going to be my bond and I was going to do all that I could to say what I meant. I determined that I would speak slower and resolve requests immediately or as quickly after the service as possible. People asked if I would pray for them. Instead of saying, "I'll be praying for you," I started saying, "Let's pray right now!" Others asked about doing lunch, and I would either walk them up to the office with me or I would ask them to confirm with me by phone the next day when I was near my calendar.

What I found out was that I was completely freed to minister and I was completely freed from the guilt that came from saying the right thing, and not following up on it. But what surprised me more was that when I prayed for anyone right away, the impression was much stronger and I found that I was much more inclined to pray during the rest of the week. I found that I was asking people how things were going and they were the ones who had forgotten that they asked me to pray! My day planner started to get some use and I rarely missed an appointment.

More than anything, I stopped feeling guilty and started enjoying ministry more. Now, this being said, let me say that you will never "bat a thousand!" I never do, but if you make this a philosophy, you'll bat better each year, be more effective for the Lord and be more enthusiastic about the ministry that He has placed you as steward.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

3 comments:

Jeff Schaefer said...

I know exactly what you mean by that stuff Frank, not from a pastoral stance. I find myself forgetting to pray for people when they ask for it, and then I get totally convicted of it the next time I see them. And its not that I am meaning to forget, but in the day-in day-out constant running around of life I just flat out forget. Praying right there on the spot is the obvious answer to that issue, and something I will need to put into practice. Thanks for the amazing insight from the mind of Frank Sanchez! Say hi to the family.

Frank & Lela said...

Jeff,

I think you left out one word

"twisted" mind of Frank Sanchez!

Thanks for the kudos! Say hi to Diane!

Blessings,
F.S.

Jeff Schaefer said...

"Twisted" and Frank Sanchez in the same sentence? Never!