Monday, April 14, 2014

Ministry Monday: The Checklist Means Nothing

I have a somewhat Type-A personality. For those of you that know me (at all) there will be some of you that disagree totally and will perhaps point to some area of my life that is a big hot mess. If that's you, I have two things to offer you. 

1. Don't tell me. I have a wife for that.
2. I did say somewhat Type-A.

As I examine my life, the Type-A area in which I am most Type-A has to do with to do. Lists, that is. I like to make them. I like to complete them. Which is why the following would not work for me. 

That would not go well for me. This is also why I struggle in my ministry life. Because the to-do list of a pastor never gets fully checked and completed and put away. In fact, I love lists so much I have downloaded Wunderlist on every piece of tech I own, so I can always have my to-do lists with me. 

I have created to-do lists for every day of the week. I do this so I can remember what needs to be done. In planning ahead, I can place a task on a list for next week. I also like checking them off, bringing a sense of accomplishment to my day. 

Which brings me back to my dilemma. Not even my daily lists get completed on a normal basis. Some may say my lists must be unrealistic, which might have a glimmer of truth. But it is what I would like to accomplish on any given day. 

But ministry rarely works like that. Because relationships never work like that. If you have any friends at all, I'm sure you would agree. I have yet to hear of the husband who compliments his wife, turns around and checks that off a list and feels done for the day. If any guy tries that, he may in fact be done...for every day. 

So, my Type-A friends out there, I encourage you to tackle as much as you can, but never to feel defeated when tasks remain on that pesky to-do list. Or, if it makes you feel better, check everything off just to feel the sweet satisfaction of completion, as long as you have those uncompleted tasks written down for another day of course. 

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