“The Main Thing is to keep your eye on The Main Thing.” That’s what I heard a distinguished business leader say awhile back. It is so easy, when you are in a leadership position, to be overcome, swamped with trivialities and distractions and to lose sight of “the main thing.”
How do we keep at ministry, amid the myriad and deep demands of the pastoral ministry? I think there is only one way – with a deep conviction that God really is present in our ministry, doing more than we can think, say, or do. Bill Easum confirms this with this affirmation of the need to keep our pastoral focus on “the main thing” – the mission of Jesus Christ in the world.
My experiences with the “deeps” have taught me much about myself and how God works. What really separates authentic leaders who soar from those who do not is a vision or mission worth dying for. Those who have this kind of vision or mission are able to go in the face of impossible odds. They are able to focus on the goal so fully that it must happen.
My “deeps” have taught me that my little successes in life have little to do with me and a lot to do with the gracious gift of a mission from God. The mission is what saves us and drives us on – not our ability. The mission is what both drives us down and brings us up. People with a vision don’t burn out, they just keep on going and going and going in spite of it all.
— From Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Rediscovering Ministry, Bill Easum, with Linnea Nilsen Capshaw, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004
William H. Willimon
I hope to see you at the Inaugural Bishop’s Lecture in Faith and Ethics at Birmingham-Southern College on Tuesday, April 17 at 11:00 a.m., in the Norton Campus Theater. Dr. Carol Newsom, Charles Howard Candler Distinguished Professor at Emory University, will speak on “Three Ways of Imagining Good and Evil: The Bible’s Internal Conversation”.