The best leadership advice I received this year is this axiom: “Do Less Then Obsess.” This transforming thought came from the book, “Great at Work” by Morten T. Hansen. It challenges business leaders to destroy the prevailing wisdom of what makes a great worker by providing statistical support on a radically different mindset. The common denominator that separated great workers from the rest is that they discipline themselves to focus on a few key activities — then obsess over them. This wisdom could be applied for Christian believers who desire to share the message of salvation with others.
In his book, Morten T. Hansen interviewed 5,000 employees to discover how people become “great at work.” We tend to think that great workers are the ones who display passion for their job and work long hours every week. That is not necessarily true. The author gave several examples of people who worked long hours, were passionate in their work, but did not receive the same recognition, nor advanced as quickly in their career. The common denominator among great workers is that they obsessed over a few activities and directed their energy to do them exceedingly well. Surprisingly, many did not have to work more than 50 hours a week to do great work and be recognized by their peers and supervisors.
Do Less. Then Obsess.
I have applied this business axiom in the role that I play in leading a gospel ministry and I can already tell a difference. But how could this be applied in my life in Christ?
In our faith life;
- Growing and maturing in Christ is not based on what we do for Christ but obsessing on remaining in Christ.
- When we obsess on remaining in Christ, we can be more productive for Christ.
Living in a busy, fast-paced world, our plate often gets full. This world easily tugs and distracts us away from fixing our eyes on Christ and his promises. On Sunday mornings, faithful Christians are fed a large meal by filling themselves with the Word and sacrament. What about the rest of the week? What’s on your plate? How are you being fed? Do we have one generous meal on Sunday mornings, then starve ourselves for the rest of the week?
Believers can “do less” by examining what we place on our plates that often fills rapidly with perceived delicacies that the world offers. We begin to “obsess” in Christ by regularly setting aside a generous portion on our plate for Him.
When believers make room for God they can’t help but make room for his work carried out through us.
God’s work includes evangelism.
Do Less. Then Obsess.
Evangelism feels overwhelming for many Christian believers. How do I find the time? How do I find the energy? How can one person make a difference?
God sets apart a few select people to receive extensive training, so they may be prepared to receive and accept a call to go out into world mission fields or start churches. The call for workers to carry out the great commission, however, is extended to all believers.
The interesting thing about evangelism work is the difference one soul can make.
One soul who receives a new life in Christ routinely end up being an amazing evangelist. New missions flourish when one new convert starts to bring family members and friends to hear about the completed work Christ has done for all people. Congregations flourish when new baptized souls can’t help to share with others about their new life in Christ.
Through one soul, wider nets are cast.
Evangelism does not have to be a big picture task. When Christ tells us to go out into all creation to proclaim the gospel, we don’t have to go thousands of miles to accomplish that task.
Evangelism can be thought of as one seed at a time.
Evangelism can be thought of as one soul at a time.
How can we “do less then obsess” in evangelism?
- Ask the Lord to send one person into your life so that you may introduce them to Christ through the message of his Word.
- Be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have in Christ. We can invite them to come along for a worship service or attend a church event as a call to action, but people in today’s skeptical world want to know what you believe. What does it mean to trust in Christ’s promises? Why is faith important to you? [A survey from Lifeway research indicated that 79% unchurched people wouldn’t mind hearing their friend talk about their faith.] Let’s not make an invitation to church our only default answer but be willing to be that faithful farmer who verbally plants a gospel seed. [Related link: “Why a Christian can never mess up when proclaiming the gospel“]
- Exercise your ears before exercising your tongue. Listen carefully for specific needs, concerns or questions. When you address what is important to them, they will be far more apt to listen to what you have to say.
- “Obsess” over that one soul. Prioritize by making room on your plate for them. By remaining in Christ, we receive patience, persistence, and are more conscious of God’s timing. We don’t easily give up. When the fruits of faith don’t match our hopes and expectations, we continue to trust the power of God’s Word and keep planting seeds of the gospel.
Do Less. Then Obsess
We “do less” by thinking about that one person that God has placed in our lives who does not believe in God’s promises.
We “obsess” over them through prayer and intentionally building a bridge of trust and proclaiming with confidence the hope that we have in Christ.
The positive impact over doing less in evangelism is that it allows us to plant one seed at a time and concentrate on soul at a time.