Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Refocus Your Vision

I read recently an interesting article in the September/October Issue of Rev! Magazine on why 1500 pastors leave the church every month. One of the suggestions it provided to those pastors who are feeling discouraged was to 'refocus your vision'. The following is the excerpt from the article:

"Focus is a process of holding on and letting go. When facing adversity without focus, we tend to let go of what we need to hold on to and hold on to what we need to let go of. We're prone to hang on to and obsess about someone's negative statement or a picture of failure and shame, while letting go of the vision of our ultimate healing destiny. When you've gone through a leadership experience that's fueled a crisis of doubt, it's crucial that you root yourself in the undisturbed stillness and poise that comes when you focus on the power of God in your life. Know that you will always be divinely guided. Anchor yourself in Psalm 46:10: "Be still and know that I am God." Believe that you will always take the right turn in the road. Believe that God will make a way where there seems to be no way. Desired results are always the product of sustained expectations. When you're vulnerable to doubt, it's essential that you don't let other people define who you are. Envision the kind of pastor you believe God has called you to be, and let this be the focus of your dreams and prayers.
(-written by Ralph Earle and Ken Wells.)

As a pastor, I am often prompted by the Spirit to return to Psalm 46, and just be still and know that God is God, and that He is still in control of everything. As a leader, it is easy to get discouraged by comments that people make or the lack of impact that it seems you are making, but I must remember that these distractions need not take my focus off the vision God has placed in my heart, soul, and mind. However, it is always helpful to take those comments and look for the merit in them and decide if there is something that needs to change in my approach that I am taking. This article and passage of scripture really encouraged me this past week, and I hope you find encouragement in it as well.

What are your thoughts on this one? Anyone else struggling with taking your focus off what is important, and focusing on those things in which you can't control? What are some ways that you deal with these struggles?

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