I am a high-energy person who thrives on new ideas so the Core Competency of Focus was a challenge for me.
But a couple of things happened that got me thinking…
- Leading house churches gave me a new perspective on what mattered in growing faith.
- Working in New Ministries showed me many declining churches being busy but not fruitful.
- My own development made a sharp climb when focus moved to the center.
And, all got me thinking about why focus matters so much. Especially today.
When Focus is not a core competency:
- Pastors waste their time and energy (energy is a huge issue here).
- Pastors feel scattered and ministry feels unsatisfying.
- Pastors experience doubt, fear, vocational turmoil and even burnout.
- Ministry potential (vitality and growth of churches) is not realized.
A couple of tools help in thinking through what focus looks like:
- Jesus – his life and ministry is clear and focused. Read it from this context and look for these lessons.
- “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown. This is a great read to get you thinking about what focus might look like. I loved the audio book and the author is always on podcasts .
Focus looks very practical in my life –
- I figured out where I want to go. (Note: this is ongoing.)
- I align how I spend my time with the results I desire.
- I am honest with what I can do and commit to it.
- I admit what I cannot do and get help.
- I simplify everything so it is light weight and low maintenance (hence the title of my blog).
- I reflect on how I am doing and make adjustments.
I started my 6 Core Competencies with Professionalism. Professionalism gives a foundation from which the other competencies grow and without it some of the Core Companies aren’t fully realized. This second competency is an example because without Professionalism, Focus could become a justification for pastors to do what comes naturally instead of what is necessary. Professionalism grounds us as we make the choice to focus on the essential, on the important.
One more thing on figuring out where you want to go (#1 above). I wonder if the times in which we live (social media, always connected) stop us from doing the deep work of figuring out where we’d actually like to go? Everything is so instant and it is natural for us to focus on today. Focus as a Core Competency can reacquaint us with this important (bigger picture) work.
What is your second core competency?