I've been spread pretty thin over my years in South Florida. There's a line from Tolkien that aptly describes this experience. One of his hobbits describes himself as feeling like "too little butter spread across too much toast."
So, what can you do?
Make sure there's something in every bite.
That's a great strategy for toast and a great strategy for leadership.
Every conversation with one of my leaders, I want to contribute something significant. It may be an insight into their ministry dynamic. It may be an articulate communication of my gratitude. It may be a heartfelt prayer.
This is, of course, an aspirational value. I don't hit it every day. Some days I'm off, flat, I swing but I miss. But the swinging matters.
I want my team to expect - every time I call, every time I visit, even though I'm not around as much as I'd like to be - I want my team to expect to get something from me.
Since it takes me 8 bites to finish a piece of toast, here are 8 ideas:
- Share something you've learned about God recently.
- Help them see the impact of their ministry.
- Listen to them like no one else on the planet exists.
- Pray for them over the phone.
- Share an awesome story about another campus.
- Break a paradigm for them.
- Lean into a pastoral moment.
- Ask them what they would like your help with. Then help.
What do you do when you're spread thin?