“OWN IT “ is the tagline for the hair salon a few doors down from our church office. It’s easy to say when that statement is referring to your hair, even if it’s not exactly what you had imagined. There are many quick fixes- cover it with a hat, get another cut, or change the colour. However, “Own It” takes on a completely different meaning when it comes to implementing and maintaining a ministry.
So, how do I demonstrate ownership?
A part of me wants to scream: “If I wasn’t a Christian, I’d be insulted to have you ask- seeing as I’ve helped birth this ministry. This is my baby.”
What tangible measurements exist that say “I’m in”?
Extrinsic evidence would suggest that “owning” something is evidenced daily by three things: Conviction, Commitment, and Compassion.
Conviction: to see you through dark days. People have opinions, agendas, and ideas that may or may not align with the vision. Another word for this is prayerful discernment, coupled with determination.
Commitment: to lonely hours and crucial conversations. Show up. Some days it feels like being the lone farmer; early mornings and late nights combine to make long days of planting, fertilizing, watering, and harvesting along with too many solo hours in the barn maintaining all the machinery. Those crucial conversations are draining and life giving as you watch the Spirit move before, in, and after those must-have chats.
Compassion: to not lose sight of the individual. If the program or policy supersedes the person ,then it’s time to make an evaluation of motives.
Too many moments in the dark of night seem filled with questions; is the family sacrifice worth it? Does anybody care? Am I making a difference? These questions alongside doubts find peace in Frederick Beuchner’s quote “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” This quote is a filter in the moments when my conviction, commitment, and compassion are slipping away.
So how do I truly demonstrate ownership?
Humbly. Idealism and realism are a leadership tension that is mediated by humility. Humility is also the freeing of competition and ego. In reality, our ministries are not ours. They are His. If He’s not in it – then I want no part of it. If it’s His- and He’s invited me to partner, then all I need to do is be present with Him and to love others.
By Sandy Shier
Intentional about life and people, Sandy’s rhythm of life travels between two worlds of mainstream society and the street level community. As part of the lead team of Metro Community Church, giving oversight to Metro Central, the weekday drop in, she is as easily comfortable sitting on a curb with someone in active addiction or in a boardroom, meeting with business people. Sharing the Sunday teaching responsibility, Sandy comes alive sharing the Gospel in an otherwise chaotic and deeply misunderstood world of the marginalized segment of society. She is also pursing her doctorate at Fuller Seminary. Married to Randy, they have three grown children; Luke, Rachael, her husband Johnny, and Hannah, who is married to Chad. Sandy and Randy also have two grandsons, Santiago and Solomon.