I’m big on results. Yup, I’m one of those super focused, organized people that scared the heck out of anyone who is not a type A personality. Being so result oriented also makes me quite impatient, not something I am proud of.
This week, I had a sudden insight. Because I am so result-oriented, I lose sight of the process. I tend to value the results more than the process, which is not always beneficial (I’m using a mild understatement here, just so you know).
In youth ministry, much of what we do is a process. Sure, organizing a successful event can be seen as a result. Yet ultimately it’s not the events we want to be successful, it’s our students. We want them to become disciples, to become true and passionate followers of Jesus. But that is a process, not a result.
Take our small groups. A ‘result’ may be a good small group session, where you have great conversations and your students are clearly impacted. But ultimately, that’s just a step in a long process called discipleship and growing. They may need many more of these nights, and other events and conversations as well, before reaching that ‘passionate follower’ level that is the end result 9and even then there’s always the process of growing deeper and further).
Too often, I am focused on the immediate results, because they give so much satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. When those short term results don’t happen, I get impatient. I start doubting myself, doubting my approach, doubting God even. All because I focus on the results instead of on the process.
It’s not easy to change this, to become more process-oriented. In a way I envy people like my husband, to whom this comes naturally. But I want to try. I want to try to celebrate the process, to see the smallest moves and changes that show me God is at work.
After all, the end result is His work, not mine. I’m just sowing, He will reap the harvest. Something else I still have to learn and apply fully.