Thursday, 18 December 2008

It Is Your Responsibility!!!

I've been in ministry for a long time now... some 13 years. I have a great passion for quotes and I've picked up a few beauties along the way. One of my favourites says this, "It is a sin to make the God of the Bible boring!"

With this in mind I have a great extract to share with you out of Seth Godin's latest book called 'Tribes':
"If you hear my idea but don't believe it, it's not your fault; its mine.
If you see my new product but don't buy it, thats my failure not yours.
If you attend my presentation and you're bored, that is my fault too.
If I fail to persuade you to implement a policy that supports my tribe, thats due to my lack of passion or skill, not your shortsightedness.
If you are a student in my class and you don't learn what I'm teaching, I've let you down.
It's really easy to insist that people read the manual. It's really easy to blame the user/student/prospect/customer for not trying hard, for being too stupid to get it, or for not caring enough to pay attention. It might even be tempting to blame those in your tribe who aren't working as hard at following as you are at leading. But none of this is helpful.

What's helpful is to realize that you have a choice to make when you communicate. You can design your products to be easy to use. you can write so your audience hears you. You can present in a place and in a way that gaurantees that the people you want to listen will hear you. Most of all, you will choose who will understand (and who won't)."

How do you see this extract pertaining to your ministry that God has called you to steward?
I would love to hear some of your thoughts through commenting on this post.


Anonymous said...

I think one has to be very careful about the responsibility they take for other people. On one hand, yes, it is my duty to minister to people in a way they can relate to. That might take some time to uncover or it may be a connection that flow naturally and doesn't take a lot of effort. On the other hand, people can take some responsibility for helping me know how they need me to work with them and relate to them.

I also think in ministry we have to be careful not to take so much responsibility that we create co-dependence. My goal needs to be one of enabling a person to help themselves and find ways to meet their own goals. This empowers people. If we make people too dependent on us we may also be encouraging them to set us up as something of a hero/rescuer figure. This is also a dangerous set of affairs as I am human and if I fail and someone has me on a pedestal, I may cause them to stumble. Even more so if I have encouraged too great a reliance on me. I need to encourage someone to lean on God, not me. It is up to them if they choose to do that or not, it is my job to encourage them to do so.

It is our fault if we don't endeavour to make things relevant to people and do so with persistence ... but we can't be fully responsible for any one person's responses, choices and motivations. It's a two way street. My job is to uphold my side of the job. If someone else doesn't uphold theirs and things don't work, it's not all my fault, as the extract seems to imply. :-)

Clive Smit said...

I definitely agree about the 2 way street. The old adage is true... that it takes two to tango.

I am not responsible for the choices that others make... I am responsible for how I present choices to others.

Thanks for your comment anonymous... thanks for visiting my blog. I hope to keep the conversation going with you.

Merry Christmas too!

Anonymous said...

Will definitely keep up the conversation. I'm a long time commenter on your blog. I enjoy it. :-) I suppose I should choose a recognisable username. Hmmmmm .... *thinks of one*