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To Do or Not To Do

I can remember in college there were times after that first class that I would think, “What have I gotten myself into?” I would consider dropping the class and picking up another course, but mostly I just got temporarily depressed about how hard it would be. Over time I learned to appreciate these classes the most. I learned that it was when I felt challenged, or up against a wall, that I came out learning the most about myself. So by the time my Senior year in college rolled around and I learned that I would have to submit two 100+ page research papers for my Business Policy class; I actually looked forward to the challenge. It wasn’t easy, but I was better for it when it was all said and done.

Now I’m 10 years removed from that time of my life, but I still seek out challenges. I personally define a challenge as something that I need to do, but I will have to learn how to do it during the process. A true challenge is something that I’m not fully qualified to complete before starting, but when I’m done I’ll be there. Make sense?

So as a leader, pastor, father, and boss I’m in the position of bringing some challenge to those around me. It’s a fanstatically scary role to play in people’s lives. Putting people into positions they may have never volunteered for, but I see potential for growth in that area. Here are some questions I’ve been asking myself:

  • How many challenges can each person take?
  • Is it my job to put people in certain positions that they need to be in, but may not feel comfortable doing?
  • How do I find that place where I want someone to be uncomfortable, but not wanting them to be miserable?
  • How much of their ‘personality’ keeps them from being who God needs them to be?
  • How many more conversations do I need to have before putting someone into a new leadership area?
  • Do I really see potential in this person, or am I just wanting them to be this for me?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

1 Comment

  1. Tim Gabbard · July 30, 2008

    “Do I really see potential in this person, or am I just wanting them to be this for me?”

    I ask myself this all the time. I get in such a habit of encouraging people to step into an area of ministry because there is a hole to fill. Instead of putting the right person in the position, we put the most “available” person. This is a area I am growing in. Great post.