This Little Picture is KILLING Your Progress

The little picture is killing your progress and you may not even realize it.

What’s the little picture?

Whatever is in front of you now – the tasks that are demanding, screaming for your immediate attention are the little picture.

So, why is the little picture doing so much damage?

Because the immediate often steals from what is most important.

Sundays come every week and your staff thinks about all the work they must complete to get ready for Sunday. When the work is finished, they either leave for the weekend or if office hours are required, they find ways to waste time. That’s the immediate.

If you have all of your volunteer positions filled, songs picked out, sermon written, etc., then you find a way to check out. Why? The immediate is taken care of.

The big picture is to think past this Sunday to the systems that will impact your church for the future.

Does this resonate with you?

Joe is in charge of the Kids Ministry at 1st Baptist Pentecostal Reformed Free Will Church. Each week Joe scrambles to ensure that every kids’ small group has a competent adult to oversee the class. Volunteers often flake out at the last minute and Joe spends a lot of time scrambling to get someone to fill the suddenly empty volunteer spot.

Sunday is coming so Joe feels pressure to get these positions filled. Joe’s sister goes to the church and because he has some pull with her, he asks for a favor. This is pretty typical and happens often enough for Joe’s sister to complain about being burned out. She is happy to help but regularly misses services to volunteer. Joe is always short of volunteers to help and by the time he finally fills these roles, he is exhausted and so are the volunteers.

Joe is a great person. He is a team player. He gets the job done for Sunday.

The problem is he is so focused on the little picture that the big problem will never get solved. The way to fix this is to start thinking about the BIG picture.

The way to do this is to think about what you need before you need it.

What if Joe spent a few hours each week strategically investing in people. If Joe doesn’t know who to invest in, he could start with the people who used to volunteer in Kids ministry but no longer do. The other group Joe could invest in is new people who join the church. The point is to invest in people.

If Joe saw his job as investing in people he could then invite someone other than his sister to fill the volunteer holes.

Leadership is nothing more than influence. In order to influence you must invest.

If your circle is small than your influence will be small.

But what if you could expand your circle?

What if you found 20 people who were not volunteering regularly. If 20 is too many, start with 10.

Make a list of those 20 people. Find out what is important to them. Find ways to pour into them.

Most likely a handful of these 20 have no one in their life that invests in them spiritually. So take them to lunch, meet them for breakfast, send them a handwritten card, send a text just because, remember their birthday, or find another way to pour into them.

As you pour into people their natural draw is to pour back into you. A lack of volunteers is most likely not a capacity problem, it’s an investment problem.

This is the same with any area in your church. If your church isn’t reaching lost people most likely it’s because the Christians in the church do not invest in any unchurched people.

If there is a business to the church, it is people. Until we see the big picture we will spend all of our time treading water trying to accomplish the immediate.

Carve out just a few hours a week to do nothing but think about the big picture. Who are the 10 or 20 people that you need to regularly invest in? Where do you want to be in one year? Where do you want to be in 5 years? What will it take to get there? Once you know that, you can start working towards the big picture.


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