After twenty years as senior pastor, I finally had to admit I'd been "skimming" in my leadership. Skimming is the way many of us cope with multiple demands, constant pressure, and overloaded schedules. We cover a lot of ground superficially without being fully engaged. Like skimming a book, this can produce the impression that everything is covered, but in reality, you aren't completely there. How do you know you're skimming?
- When you go from meeting to meeting without awareness of God.
- When you say “yes” to new commitments and expansions without properly following through on what you are already doing.
- When it is Friday and you realize you have not had enough time to allow the truth of what you are preaching to transform your own walk with Christ.
- When you avoid difficult decisions and truths because someone will be upset.
- When you muddle your way through a meeting because you have not clearly determined your goals and agenda.
- When you make a pastoral phone call or visit – resentfully.
- When you cannot stop thinking about the unfinished work at church when you are with your family.
- When you are too busy to reflect on your own heart or cultivate your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- When you are not investing in your own personal growth and marriage.
- When you measure your success based on what other people say rather than your own internal values before God.
Many times skimming is a "defensive mechanism" of denial that blocks us from growing up spiritually and emotionally. It's a way of avoiding aspects of ministry that stir up anxiety or pain. It can work for a while, but eventually it catches up with us, and there's a price to pay. Here's ...