Karrie and I have this conversation all the time. It seems like we're never enough. Ever feel that way? When Karrie feels like she is being a great mother, she feels like she's shorting me as a wife. When I feel like I'm being a great husband I feel like I'm short-changing my daughters. When she is on a high from "being there" for her friends she seems too exhausted for herself. When I am en fuego as a pastor I often feel empty as a follower of Christ. (I know, weird, isn't it?)
We're never enough.
That seems to be a problem in just about every area of our lives.
- Never enough time.
- Never enough money.
- Never enough friends.
- Never enough appreciation.
- Never enough stuff.
This is particularly difficult for leaders. Let's face it leaders, we weren't built for the status quo. Since I've been the Lead Pastor at Live Oak we've seen a TON of changes - vision shifts, culture shifts, staffing changes, people coming and going. It's been a crazy ride! When the elders/leaders have encouraged me about everything going on it's always about the foundation we are building, the leadership that's in place, the vision that has been cast, and the excitement that they feel from the people in our church. I appreciate their words and believe them. I know we have made tectonic shifts in our structure and stability ... but it doesn't seem like enough.
- Our attendance is growing, but not fast enough ... not big enough.
- Our giving per capita has increased, but our overall giving is down.
- Our ministry opportunities have become more focused and more purposeful, but people still aren't getting involved in them ... at least not enough people.
- We've seen dozens of people baptized and place membership at Live Oak this year, but not as many as I'd hoped.
We've been doing so much, but it just doesn't seem like we're ever doing enough. As a leader I recognize where we've been and where we are, but by nature I'm driven more by where we are going ... and we're not there yet. We can't get there soon enough!
It's maddening, really.
Sunday night I dropped Avery off at Encounter (Junior High Youth Group) and Melody, our bookkeeper was in the office processing the giving from the morning. The offering was horrible. I don't mean "we just missed them mark" horrible, I mean "we weren't even in the ballpark" horrible. We've been struggling for some time with our finances as a church. Literally, every week we count the pennies praying that we'll be able to cover everything for the week or month. There never seems to be enough!
Then Melody told me a story. She said that a few weeks ago she was concerned going into the weekend that we wouldn't have enough money to cover the bills going out on Monday (office rent/worship space rent/payroll weeks are killer!) After the offering came in we were still short, but she made the deposit and sent the checks anyway knowing we could cover from our very, very small reserves. That Monday the church received 2 checks to deposit for the offering. She told me after the checks were deposited we had 60 cents left over after covering all the bills. 60 cents.
It strikes me today that while we will never be enough and God is always more than enough, He usually gives us only just enough.
Just enough to know we're not enough, but just enough to know He's more than enough.
Like the Chris Tomlin song says, "All of you is more than enough for all of me."
Today, I'm going to stop trying to be enough for everyone else and focus on the One who is always more than enough ... even if it is only more by 60 cents!