The Dark Side of “Make it Happen”

lightstock_75360_xsmall_deborah_wipfI’ve seen the “make it happen” mindset in-action countless times in ministry.  Staff and volunteers scramble to pull off an event or launch a new program and they manage to make it happen.

What most people in the congregation don’t see, however, is the fallout.  Staff members are exhausted and frustrated with each other. Families were neglected and volunteers became disillusioned.

Do I sound a bit frustrated?

Well, that’s because I’ve been in this situation.  I’ve heard the idea, been excited about seeing it in action, and then become discouraged at the chaos that ensued.

I’m all for working hard and making sacrifices – laziness isn’t the issue here.  However, what I can’t stand is seeing unnecessary long hours, rework, and staff neglecting their health and relationships.  I don’t think that honors God or sends the right message to a congregation.

This is why I talk a lot about planning.

I’ve worked until the wee hours of the morning, slept for a few hours, and then headed back into the office.  I’ve had to take a walk and pray before talking to a colleague I was so upset (hey, lack of sleep will make anyone cranky).  Looking back, I realize it didn’t have to be that way.

There will be intense seasons in ministry.

When you’re planting a church or launching a new program, you’ll have some long days.  I’m an entrepreneur, so I understand that it takes hard work and discipline to accomplish big goals.

Breaking goals down into smaller tasks makes them easier to manage.

I’m working on a new eBook and the idea felt overwhelming at first.  So I created an outline and scheduled appointments on my calendar to draft each chapter.  With my current schedule, it’ll take over a month to complete the initial draft.  I’d love for it to happen sooner, but the schedule I’ve created is the best I can do at this time.

Don’t wear out yourself or your team trying to make it happen.

Trust God to give you wisdom and help you accomplish the vision He’s placed inside of you.  Pray, and then start breaking down big goals into smaller, more manageable pieces.

When long hours are required, give your team time off once the work is done.  Think longevity here. Consider what it’ll take to ensure you arrive at your goal and still have your family, friends and your team arrive there with you.

So, what do you think?  Is the “make it happen” mindset healthy or have you seen it cause problems? 

  • Thanks, Dave! Yep, I’ve been in that situation too and it’s hard to maintain a positive attitude in that moment! 🙂

  • I resonate with this article as a whole, but I especially loved this word “rework” because there is nothing more frustrating than giving your all yet at the last minute having to reword because of a whim or lack of overall vision.

    Great piece, again, Deborah. You’re a rock star!