A couple of weeks ago I paid a visit to my eye doctor. I was pretty excited–I had been waiting for my insurance to catch up with my impaired eyesight and, finally, the time had come when I was eligible for new glasses.
The part of the exam that I anticipate is when the doctor begins trying different lenses to see which provides the most clarity. She will put one lens in place, asking me to focus on the letter chart, then click another in place and ask which was better. We repeat this process a few times before she finds the best degree of correction. With each new lens, my excitement mounts as the letters I am focusing on are a bit more defined each time. I’m always grateful that my doctor doesn’t settle for some improvement, but presses on until she finds the point of greatest clarity.
I met with a ministry leader recently who was struggling with a different kind of impaired vision. He has a lot of clarity regarding his spiritual gifts, his temperament, and his abilities. During the past couple of years, he has achieved a few more degrees of clarity as he has gained deeper understanding of equipping others for ministry. However, recently his vision has become somewhat impaired… his focus is not as sharp. The responsibilities of “running a church” have left him struggling for clarity regarding his own unique design for ministry.
Thankfully, this leader is self-aware, understanding how God has wired him for ministry. We had talked before about the importance of sharing ministry so as to balance the work, as well as allow others to serve out of their gifting. He had a degree of clarity about all of this. But at a particular point during our recent conversation, the right lens clicked into place and suddenly his vision cleared. He could really see what his ministry would look like if he focused on doing only what God has gifted and called him to do!
The energy that came from this leader’s moment of clarity was unmistakable! Not only was he incredibly energized, but his energy carried over to me as we continued talking. Certainly there will be challenges as he urges his congregation to new degrees of clarity. There will probably be moments when it will seem easier to settle for less than the perfect degree of clarity but, like my eye doctor, it will be important for him to press on. As he does, I believe that the energy created by this leader’s clarity will empower a whole new level of ministry among the people he serves.
When you consider your ministry and calling, what’s your degree of clarity? Are you settling for something less than perfect vision? Do you need to re-examine your spiritual gifts? your preferences? your abilities? Try it… and get energized by clarity of vision!
(And if I can help, let me know!)