I recently spent some time in Colorado, fly fishing with my two sons. It’s a trip we’d been planning for a year and had really been looking forward to it. We fished for three days, with varying results each day.
Day 1: We fished by ourselves and caught one fish between us.
Day 2: We fished by ourselves and caught nothing
Day 3: We fished with a guide and caught a dozen fish between us.
Drew Fishing with our Guide, Doug
A dozen fish between 3 fishermen may not sound like a lot, but it’s a lot better than a big goose egg!
Here’s my point:
There was nothing wrong with fishing by ourselves, but our success sky-rocketed when we had the advice of an experienced guide.
In your ministry, do you have someone who has gone before you? Call it mentoring, friendly advice, whatever. Unless you know it all (and who does?), you need the help and advice of someone more experienced, or maybe more mature, to show you the way.
A Couple of Examples
*A few years ago, I needed to bone up on podcasting. When Apple came out with the podcasts feature in Itunes, I dismissed it because it sounded like “Party Shuffle” or something like that. So I was about year behind the curve. After asking around, I found an expert at another church in Dallas, and I hired him to come spend about three hours with me. He ended up not only giving me the basics on podcasting, but also gave me a primer on blogs as well. The time I spent with him gave me a head-start over what I could just figure out on my own.
* Early in my career I produced a christian radio program called Hope For The Heart. But I didn’t start out producing. I started as an editor. My boss, who was much more than just a boss, was always mentoring me. Mentoring in how I saw life, mentoring in audio production skills, management skills, etc. Andy would explain things to me until I understood them. He wanted to make sure I GOT things, so I could apply them to similar scenarios down the road. He really worked himself out of a job, and when he moved on took his place as producer for the program.
* My friends Sammy and Julie: They are such examples of how to treat others with dignity and grace. I have watched them both pour their lives into other people, and I’m thankful for friends like these who, by their lives, provide an example for me to follow.
I promise you, there are people out there who are more skilled and more experienced than you and me. And there are those who are just waiting to share their experience with us.