I have always been a fan of Twitter. As a reader, I love the brevity as a writer I love the forced clarity. 140 characters is not a lot of real-estate it forces you to think before you type. When you read someone’s Twitter feed what you get is a condensed form about what they are most passionate. Through videos, links and pithy quotes you get a good sense of what they love most.
With Jim Wideman, you get that loud and clear. You get that he is passionate about building the church, loving his family, helping folks grow. One of the things I love most about Jim is he isn’t someone who gets stuck. He learns from others as much as he helps others. I first meet Jim on Twitter a platform that was touted by the experts as a tool to be used by people far younger than he. Jim did as he does with most things jumped on to see what the fuss was. Turns out Twitter was made for Jim. If you hang out with Jim for any amount of time, you realize that he speaks mostly in Twitter. Most of what he says are profound thoughts that have been honed by time to produce an easy to remember truth that appears simple because it’s so short and memorable. That is far from simple because they represent a truth that is only gotten to by years of experience.
One of the things that I find most comforting in life is know how God sees our future. We tend to limit God based on how we think he works or how we think he should work. This is why the second commandment is such a big deal. When we make a physical representation of God, we remove him from being a God that is limitless to a one-dimensional caricature. We form Him in our image by assuming that he should look and act like us. He doesn’t work that way.
Here is one of the most freeing things that I have come to understand and appreciate in my relationship with God. When I stress over what the future holds I fail to see my future in the way God does. The way that God sees our future is exactly how we see our past. That understanding transforms our trust. When we look to our past, we see a vast array of unconnected dots that somehow worked together to bring us to the job that we have the person we married and the school we attend. Steve Jobs was a self-proclaimed Buddhist but as a result of common grace he understood this. He attributed the beauty of his products to an obscure class on calligraphy he took in college.
What God’s word tells us is that every seemingly unconnected dots that have been linked sovereignly and are how God see our future. We see disconnected dots God see our beginning from our end. It is that simple understanding that help us trust him in every season of life.
Everyone wants to know their work matters. We want to feel a part of a team. We want to contribute something that is unique. We want to be thought of as irreplaceable. These are not improper aspirations but how we achieve them matters.
Here is how you become irreplaceable
- Know your leader’s vision for the church and organization.
- Know what you leader is looking for in other leaders.
- Know what your job is.
- Begin training someone to replace you as soon as you know 1-3
The biggest mistake we make in making ourselves irreplaceable is thinking that we are irreplaceable or failing to understand that we will be replaced. If you lead in any capacity you need to understand two things you will not be doing what you are doing forever so 1. You can replace yourself and leave a legacy or 2. Do not replace yourself and leave a mess.
We all struggle with insecurity to a greater or lesser degree. It is often those insecurities that keep us from giving to others what we know about what we do. We fail to turn over key components of our job because we are afraid of being replaced. When we lead with such a protectionist mindset we fail to fully develop those we lead. We must give away to advance. We must empower others to do what we do and remove obstacles that hinder them from doing things better than even we were able to do.
If you begin your job day one striving to replace yourself you will never be replaced. The irony is the thing that actually makes you irreplaceable in whatever you do is by being really good at replacing yourself. Anyone can do a job but someone who can empower others to do their job better than they can do it themselves is truly valuable.
So start this week. Know your leader and identify your replacement and start making yourself irreplaceable.
If you regularly attend church conferences you will no doubt hear the rallying cry for excellence in the church. In some ways this is a good thing. I am all for pastors working hard and doing all they can do to reach people with the greatest message ever told. Where excellence starts to kill the church is when we make our church a polished flawless exhibition that we invite people to be impressed by.
When the church takes its cue from the business world and perfects its processes so that it can extend its reach and solidify its brand we have lost our way.
When excellence drives us to be efficient with people so we can be innovative with problems we are no longer the church we are simple a 501c3.
So I had this random idea a couple of days ago to help push the family ministry conversation forward. I thought. What if we held a live twitter conversation with some of the sharpest minds in family ministry out there? And what if you in the Youth Pastor, Kids Pastor, Family ministry joined in with your thoughts and questions? So here is what we are going to do Tomorrow August 13th at 3pm EST we are going to hold a #asknextgen conversation on twitter.
Here is where you come in. We need you to engage and ask questions. You can chime in with your own questions, you can ask follow-up questions to questions asked by others. This is your opportunity to ask some of the brightest minds in family ministry a question you have always wanted. All you need to do is search out the hashtag #asknextgen and you will find the conversation. When you ask your question make sure you include the hashtag #asknextgen or you question or comment might be missed.
Looking for a way to make sure you don’t miss any of the action on Thursday? Use Tweetchat.com
all you do is enter #asknextgen when prompted followed by your user name and password for twitter and you will be able to monitor the conversation, tweet, or respond to tweets all from one browser window.
So who will be on the #asknextgen panel?