I have been blessed to work with hundreds of churches during my career. I love serving the church. I do not subscribe to the nay-sayers that keep telling us that the church is dead or dying. However, I have seen (and continue to see) lots of excuses for inaction in churches. I realize that this is not systemic to just churches…but rather churches are made of flawed humans, and as humans we tend to make excuses. Here are some of the common things:
We can’t do X,Y and Z because…
Our church is not large enough
We don’t have enough budget
Our people are not ready (oh, really)
We don’t have the right staff
We don’t want to rock the boat
We will get around to it (here is your personal Round Tuit)
Let me give you a Biblical example of a prime “excuse maker”. In John 5, there’s a story about a man who I believe represents a lot of people who refuse to change and make excuses to justify it.
During a Jewish feast in Jerusalem, Jesus visited the Bethesda pool where sick people gathered, hoping to get healed. One of the people waiting to get healed was a man who had been crippled for 38 years. When Jesus saw him, He asked if he wanted to be healed.
To me, the man’s answer tells us why he hadn’t been healed in 38 years. He said, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred.” Bottom line, the man was avoiding responsibility.
His second problem was that he blamed others (made excuses). The man said, “While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
How did Jesus respond? Jesus didn’t feel sorry for him. Instead, Jesus said, rather sternly, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” For change to occur in your life, you can’t be a prisoner of your circumstances and you cannot make excuses. You just have to decide to take action…to take responsibility…to find a way.
So…if you are a facility manager or the primary steward of the ministry facilities God has entrusted to you, what CAN you do? Maybe you don’t have enough budget…what CAN you do with the budget you have to be a better steward? Maybe you don’t have the right training…what CAN you do…maybe take some free online courses? You may not have the right “staff”…what CAN you do with volunteers?
Let’s look at one more scripture about Moses:
“What is that in your hand?” “A staff” he replied.
Exodus 4:2 NIV
God will start with what is in your “hand” even when it seems menial and insignificant. “What is in your hand, Moses?” This was God’s response to Moses’ ample excuses about why he was not qualified to lead Israel out of slavery to Egypt
Make a list of the things that you know should be done (maybe the ones you have been giving excuses for inactivity)…then examine what is in your hand… then take action. You will be far more productive.