I’ll never forget when my mother turned to me in the kitchen and with a very passionate voice said the following words…
“You’ve been called but you’re not committed.”
I could not receive her words. I am a Pastor’s kid who believed that attending my local church and showing up when I felt like it was “commitment”. I felt “offended”. Isn’t that something? I actually took offense to the truth. Even as I grew past that, I believed that even operating in my calling was all that was necessary. I showed up at meetings. I did my work. I thought that was enough. However, I want to share with you 5 lessons I’ve learned since then and I’m still learning as I grow in my calling. This applies to serving in your local church, on a team, or helping in bringing forth a vision as one collective group. This can apply to helping open up a business, a non-profit, or anything that involves a team.
1. Commitment can not be defined as just “showing up” to do something. I used to think that because I was involved and “present” that I was committed. However, the sign of an effective body is not just being present but effective in their role. What good is a leg if it doesn’t work? I was a leg that was present but MIA in heart and willingness to really understand my role. When I received certain things as the consequence, I could not say that my lack of commitment was not important. When I look at how I’ve worked hard along with the people that I serve to build Girls of Royalty (and we’re just getting started), there is a certain level of commitment that is required to reach certain levels. People may be involved but commitment is seen in more ways than just bein involved. That’s point #2.
2. It’s not just doing it. It’s how you do it. This one really shook me up. Your commitment to what you do also includes you contributing to the growth of that which you’re involved in. This includes ideas, strategies, and fine-tuning your contribution. Growth is key to whatever we put our hands to. Are you contributing to the growth or just present? People love to volunteer but the church, your business, your job doesn’t need more bodies. They need creative minds and active hearts because it’s better to have 2 people who have a passion for getting the job done versus 30 who show up but aren’t active in the growth of what is there.
3. Your attitude is everything. The term “petty” has been used to the extreme this year. It means to be someone who magnifies the little and minimizes the bigger picture. Basically, you harp on the little things that don’t even matter. I’ve learned this one big time. My attitude towards what I do will affect how I do it. Your attitude is seen through your actions.
4. God will either use you or somebody else. I’ll never forget when I got into an argument about a creative plan for our church. He told me very clearly- “If you don’t want to do it, I’ll find someone else who does”. I replied back to him that he wouldn’t find someone who could do it like me. My father responded so fast that I did not have time to catch my breath. He basically told me in short that God is looking for people who will get the job done. It was plain and simple as that. Would I involve myself in getting the job done and getting it done well? I believe that our pride hinders us from being truthful to ourselves and those that we love. Never allow your pride to block the fact that even though God uses us as his vessels, He can use anybody He desires. If we don’t respond to the call of commitment, He will find somebody to take our place.
5. Unplug + Plug into What You Can Do. Find a place where you can be productive and committed. Sometimes that requires you changing what you do within the team. Other times, it just includes being truthful about where we stand in our commitment and finding a solution that fits. Maybe your heart is no longer attached to a certain place of serving or volunteering. Admit it and do what will work best for the team. The issue arises when we say that we are committed but our actions don’t line up with our words. I’ve learned to only commit to what I know I can do and go hard in the growth of that effort. That can be hard because you have to quit some things that you thought you loved. However, I’ve quit things so that I can be even more productive in doing what I know I can do best. Think about what you’re gifted in and where you can contribute the most. Sometimes you are the void filler where you just are helping fill in the gap. You may not be the best volunteer in a certain area but having passion and showing up to get the job done beats any skill or talent. I’ll never forget when I volunteered for a city concert. They stuck me at the front gate working with the press and those who came on behalf of news stations, newspapers, and more. The day before I was working at the ticket area where people come to pick up their tickets. The people loved placing me there because I made sure people received a smile and were ready for the festivities. I made sure to ask them some fun questions to get them talking as they received their ticket. Due to this, I was shocked as to why they were moving me. I was their best ticket giver (is that even a word?). The head of the volunteer team looked me in the eyes and said the following—–I need someone who can adapt quickly, get the job done, and do it well! I didn’t know anything about working with the press BUT he gave me step by step instructions and I took off running around like a chicken with 15 legs getting the job done.
What have you learned during your years of serving others?