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What Does it All Come Back To?

Here’s a great organization and self-assessment question. Look back over your tenure, year, few months or weeks. Ask yourself this question, “What does it all come back to?” Asking this question requires you to look for a theme. What you’re looking for are clues that you can find from the content of your conversations, meetings, changes, resources, struggles, and even dreams.

Here is an example:

You’re in charge of first impressions. Over the year you begin to look back and soon discover that every conversation and every initiative you’ve been asked to engage in may come with it the reality that it’s all about warm receptions. Anytime you meet with a direct report the questions, criticism, or compliments may  be centered around warm receptions. If you’re about warm receptions then you’re centered right in your organization’s eyes and your own impulses. However if you could care less about receptions or maybe not as much as say… efficiency and turn around then you could very likely be bothered by warm reception questions, criticism, or lack of affirmation on how quickly you can clear the parking lot. If this is a sticking point to you then it could be extremely frustrating.

Here’s another example:
Say you’re in charge of preschool and all you care about is clean rooms and security. Where the rubber meets the road for you is all of those conversations you’re having about teachers, content, and parent involvement. When you look you and ask that question you seem to come to the realization that it all comes back to teaching and connection with parents.

This is where you start to make some meaning for yourself. It can be assumed that you’re caring about the wrong things and need to make changes or that you are a detriment to the direction people need you to go. If you want to bring clarity you may need to ask your leaders, “Am I a good fit?”

Maybe you are but this is the next thing to accomplish. Maybe you aren’t and you never will be. Maybe you need someone to come alongside of you and take care of warm receptions or parent engagement, etc.

If in your world the focus is not where you want to go, be, or do then it may be time to consider that what you want everything to come back to is not the same as where others, namely your overseer, wants it to go.

This is a very scary question because some people are so locked in on a vision, dream, or idea that it would be an abomination to do anything else. The next set of questions are those that are centered around conviction and obedience. It could be that there is need for clarity or need for permission and release. Regardless of which your own leader is the key for this.

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chadswanzy@churchleaders.com'
Chad Swanzy has served in youth ministry for 15 years and currently works as the student ministry director at Gateway Community Church in Austin, Texas. Learn more from Chad and ask him your questions at ChadSwanzy.com.