Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Stretch Principle

This last week I was reminded of a very important principle that I am going to call “The Stretch Principle.” To illustrate the principle, imagine holding a rubber band in your hand. That rubber band has all kinds of potential-holding a stack of papers together, shooting paper clips at others (just kidding!), putting it around your wrist to remind you of something or snapping it on your wrist as you reach for a candy bar to remind yourself “no, you don’t need that chocolate.”

But a rubber band also reminds us of a life principle. You can only stretch it so far before it breaks or snaps in two. In other words, there is a limit to the stretch.

The same is true for us. We can contribute many great things with our life, but there is a limit to our contributions. Our contributions also carry with them “stress” baggage. Our lives can only tolerate so much stress, so we all must learn our stretch point.

As a pastor, I sometimes forget the stretch principles in the lives of church members. Most church leaders plan church schedules to the max. I forget that people have a limited number of hours to contribute to the church. When I violate this management principle it creates tired, burned out congregants.

There was a time when churches asked people to attend church service, Sunday school, discipleship classes, visitation meetings, committee meetings, men’s meetings, women’s meetings and minister in the community.

I learned last week that something has to give. You do not have to be a skilled mathematician to calculate the issue. It’s not that people are uncommitted as I once thought, but one can only stretch so far.

As a pastor, I need to plan with a “big picture” view in mind. My goal is to help our church distinguish those things that are urgent and important from those that are urgent and not important. Pray for me and in the meantime, remember the stretch principle.


P.S. Who is leading your life? Would you answer that question myself, culture, things, certain people, money, etc...? If i told you there is something far greater than these things to lead your life would you be interested? Join me this Sunday at worship at 9:00 am or 10:30 am and interact with "who is leading my life." 

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