Learning from my mistakes?

They say you learn from your mistakes. So in the first of
several blog entries looking back on 7 years in my current role (as Senior
Minister of Poynton Baptist
Church) I’m wondering, 'what have I
learned?'

1. My biggest mistake is not to make enough mistakes. There
are far more things I thought of doing and backed away. Yet some of them might
have been really good.  My problem is
that whilst my gut instincts were right I didn’t have the clarity to argue for
them or reasoned argument to state them with confidence. (eg: planting an ‘emerging’
congregation 5 years ago).

2. Little mistakes aren’t really mistakes, so forget about them.
Every week there are things you could have done differently, a phone
conversation here, a song choice there or whatever. Like sand castles by the
shore which the incoming tide covers over; they are of no consequence. If they matter to
other people, that is their problem not yours and the only mistake is when you
take on a load of guilt.

3. My main mistakes have been failing to give enough focus
to some important things. Hindsight makes things clearer, I should have given more
relentless attention to the worship life of the church and to the discipleship
programmes we run; ensuring we put more resources into excellence in these
areas. [In the wider life of Union my main regrets are
agreeing with a strategy that presumed Home Mission giving would increase and colluding
with a centralised organisational culture, but I’ve blogged about this ad
nauseum].

But the biggest lesson from this is not the decisions themselves
but how I’ve given too much attention to doing a good job, aiming to be a
helpful, competent, and respected minister rather than being focused on seeking
to discover and live out God’s call.

What about you?

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