Andy Stanley opens and closes Catalyst. And since we had to leave early to catch the plane on Friday, I only heard Andy’s opening remarks (until I get the audio download of the main sessions).
Andy began by saying: “The more successful you are, the less accessible you’ll become.” Now, when I first heard that, I wanted to recoil and fight with Andy because ministry is about people. I would like to think that as my ministry grows, that I would continue to be accessible to people and be interested in what they are doing.
What Andy was talking about was quality over quantity. In his words- “you can’t shut it all out, but you can’t take it all in.” There are limits to the boundaries we set for ourselves- and as pastors and leaders, we need to be aware of those boundaries which enable us to focus on the most important tasks– and allow us to go deeper in our relationships by not spreading ourselves out too thin.
Stanley said these things which I think are worth repeating.
1. First, “fairness ended in the Garden of Eden. Don’t be fair, be engaged.” We sometimes think that if we do something for one person, we have to do that for everyone else. Stanley says we don’t. We can choose to do one persons wedding while turning down another opportunity. We choose (through God’s leading) who we are going to go deep in relationship with.
2. Go deep rather than wide: I kinda mentioned this already. But choose a few deep relationships/ministry opportunities to develop rather than spreading yourself too thin.
3. Go long term rather than short term: Make it a point to invest in a few point in a sustained/long term relationship. Mentor them, minister to them so that they might be able to do so for others.
4. Go time, not just money. Be personally invested in projects and missions. Pick one spot around the world and develop a long term relationships with the people and your church. Personally go and help others catch a vision for sustained ministry.
Finally- Stanley said “When you do for one, you end up doing far more than just one.” When we mentor and disciple- we multiply as the people we disciples disciple others.
My Take: It was not an earth shattering message- but it was a message that fit the theme of being present. Stanley encourages us to be engaged in ministry. To be fully present.