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A.I., J.G., T.E.A.M.

Allen Iverson, Jason Giambi, Your Team

What do they have in common? They are loved when they win.

Tonight I watched Allen Iverson on Stephen A Smith's new show "Quite Frankly" on ESPN2.
Iverson said something to the effect of "I'm telling you... people turn on you. You could be doing everything right and the moment you don't produce, you're out. They will turn on you so quickly. I told Lebron (James) that everything is great now and he's a great poster boy but if he screws up his world will change."

Then today on ESPN I read that Jason Giambi batted .350 in July with 14 home runs. A feat not normally done (last done by Sammy Sosa in 2001). If you follow baseball even casually you may recall that earlier this season the Yankees came to Giambi and asked if he'd be willing to go down to the minors to "work on his swing". Giambi refused and the rest is history. In a matter of months he went from the celler to the pent house. Why? His batting average.

Your church operates the same way. When you are winning things seem to click and everyone is in a perpetual state of honeymoon. When the win isn't defined or when you're losing you will encounter people who turn on you. It's part of the deal. You're in it to win it. The mission you're called to is not easy. You're at work for the King of Kings and even he had thousands turn away because they wanted him to do more tricks. Judas fell away, Jesus said a prophet is without honor in his own town... even his tightest disciples fell asleep during a trying time in his ministry when he asked them to partner with him. We have to understand that if God incarnate faced difficulties with people, we're bound to face a few letdowns ourselves.

Here are some thoughts about how to keep steady in the midst of these bumps in the road:

1. Remember who's you are: You aren't defined by your "accomplishments". You're a child of God who has his complete love and grace no matter who considers you a winner or loser. Don't set your status up as an idol in front of God's unconditional love. Jesus paid the price to bring you to God's grace. That part isn't an elevator.

2. Define the win. Many times people get discouraged because they can't see if they are winning or not. Define the win. Salvations and baptisms are obvious wins. One problem may be that you havent' done a great job casting vision for other wins. Is a restored marriage a win? Is a certain level of involvement in small groups a win? Are attendance goals able to provide a 'win'? Be sure you clearly define what a 'win' is.

3. Get back to the basics. Many times during a rut you will find that if you look at where you are spending your time you will see that you've gotten away from the basics. Get back to the few things you do best and that are most important to your church.

4. Get under your umbrella of support. Take some time away and find/call those people who have your back. As a leader you need to have your arms held up at time like Arron and Hur for Moses. Go to those people who can lift you up when you are weak.

5. Take some time off. It's easy to get worn out and emotionally tied up to your ministry. Remember that you're no good to your church or family if you're burned out. Put on the breaks and get away. Spend some renewal time with God. Push pause on being the "Pastor" and get back to being the pupil. Study for a period of time under God's teaching.

Above all else keep moving. When you've done all you can, stand. Your heavenly father will renew and strengthen you.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, August 01, 2005


At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Jason Berggren said...

Good thoughts. Hope all is well with the family.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger praynlady said...

awesome points Tally, I am still amazed at how you get a point across and it helps me each day to start anew. God Bless.


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