Innovative Ministry
You’re Allowed To Care About One Thing Without Campaigning For Everything
Saying “no” to some good things so you can say "yes" to other good things is an essential step in being effective.

So you’ve found something you care about.

You’re involved. You feel like you’re making a difference.

Then you post about it on social media. Not to brag, just because that’s what you do with causes you care about.

Most of the responses are positive and uplifting, but there are one or two who snap back at you with “Really? You’re doing that? Well what about …?” and they name another cause similar to the one you’re involved in. “Don’t you know if you’re involved in your thing you’re supposed to be involved in my thing? If not, you’re a hypocrite!”

You Can’t Do Everything

It can be about anything, and from any political or theological viewpoint.

  • Concerned about racial injustice? Then you’d better get in line about women’s rights, too.
  • Raising money for an abused women’s shelter? How can you not be helping out at the equal pay rally?
  • Does your church support overseas missions? Then you’d better support the local soup kitchen.

(Or vice versa on any of those.)

One of two things typically happens when we experience pushback like this. First, we try to make everyone happy, only to burn ourselves out doing too much. Second, we shy away from doing anything because it’s easier to stay under the radar and not be criticized.

But that’s no way to live or do ministry.

We need to have the courage of our convictions and stay in the lane where we can have the most impact.

Instead, we need to have the courage of our convictions and stay in the lane where we can have the most impact.

In fact, saying “no” to good things that aren’t your thing is an essential step in being effective.

But Do Something

It’s okay to care about one thing without stepping up for everything.

For instance, our church supports a local home for abused women and children, but we don’t volunteer at the local food bank. Another church near us helps out at the local food bank, but not at the shelter for abused women and kids.

We’re each doing our part.

Don’t let the self-righteous bullies either push you into spreading yourself too thin, or quitting altogether.

Find causes you care about. Support them wholeheartedly. Then don’t take the bait when someone tries to guilt you into supporting something else that may or may not correspond to that issue.

It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry and his friends were on an AIDS walk, but didn’t want to wear the AIDS ribbon, so they were accosted at every step for it. If you want to walk and wear the ribbon for your cause, great. If you only want to walk, or only wear the ribbon, that’s good, too.

You can’t do everything. But don’t let anyone bully you into doing nothing.

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The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

October 04, 2019 at 11:18 AM

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