Yesterday I taught about “doing what we each do best”. Not everyone is cut out for every job or ministry. But everyone is cut out for something – God promised that he has designed you for some kind of ministry work.
Because of that it is important that we find our “sweet spot” in ministry.
A “sweet spot” is when all of the contributing factors combine to make a nearly perfect result. For instance, in baseball or golf, the “sweet spot” on the bat or club is the spot where, when it hits the ball, the force is so balanced throughout the ball, club, player, etc. that the result is a near-perfect hit. It could be a home run, a hole-in-one, or just the best hit ever, but it’s always great.
Now, just like in baseball and golf, it’s impossible to hit the ministry sweet spot every time; there are too many outside factors involved. But whenever we step up to the ministry plate, our goal should always be a home run for God.
So what does this “ministry sweet spot” look like? Here are some key factors:
- Credit. This is the question of motive. In most churches, “credit” is substituted with the word “glory”, because it sounds more biblical. (I still default to that word.) God says, “Give me the glory.” God means, “I want the credit.”Why do you do what you do? You should be able to do everything with his name in lights at the top of the list. If your ministry work does not have you pointing back at God, you’re not working in the sweet spot.
- Position. This is the question of placement. In sports, you have to hit the ball on the right place of the club or bat. In ministry, you have to be serving in the place God has designed you to serve.This requires asking some questions (usually of trustworthy people around you):
- How has God used me best in the past?
- What do you see as God’s obvious gifting in my life?
- Where do you think my deepest passions lie?
The reason to ask others is to get objective, outside opinions. To put it bluntly, you’re too close to look at your life objectively. Those past experiences that you thought were great, might not have been. Or you know that thing that you wish God would gift someone to do? Others are probably waiting for you to jump in and get started!
I have said over and over again, one of the best ways to find your design for ministry is to try a lot of different areas of service. If you do this, seeking God’s plan and giving him the credit, I guarantee you will find it – even if it’s not what you expected. If your ministry work does not fit God’s design for your life, you’re not working in the sweet spot.
- Balance. This is the question of priorities.To hit the sweet spot on a golf club, a golfer has to be balanced in every area of his swing – his stance, his arms, his club, the height of the tee, etc. Balance is a key factor in ministry as well.Whether you are doing paid or volunteer ministry work, it is a full-time job to balance work, home, physical health, marriage, parenting, church, and other social relationships and responsibilities. Any one of these can get out of balance (either over or under) and throw off your whole swing.Notice that “balance” does not mean “equal weight distribution”. A golf club’s head can weigh more than the shaft and still be in balance in the golfer’s hands. If you are married, your marriage should “weigh” more than your career. If you are a parent, your children should “weigh” more than other social responsibilities.
To be “in balance” means to have your priorities straight about what is most important at any given time. This requires a deep awareness about your life.
Sometimes that means giving up something that normally could be fine, but it is moving ministry out of its rightful place on your priority list, throwing off your balance. If your ministry work is not in balance with your other priorities, you’re not working in the sweet spot.
So where’s your ministry sweet spot? Do you need to re-evaluate your motives? Do you need to just jump in and figure out your position? Do you need to adjust your priorities?
How can I help?