A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Where’s Your Energy Going, and Why It Matters

An organization has only 100 percent of its resources and energies to spend. I have no idea what is meant when a manager says, “Let’s give it 110 percent!” There is a finite amount of energy, and the question is simple: is it directed toward internal, political issues, or toward external, client issues?

In the best companies I’ve worked with (or observed), the ratio is about 10/90. That is, 10 percent of the energy is abraded away internally, but 90 percent of it is directed toward sales, service, retention, market share, and so forth.

Alan Weiss, Million Dollar Coaching

There are times I have to leave the house and socialize with other people. As an introvert, that isn’t my natural state. Occasionally, it happens that I have to engage a group of people that I don’t really know (aka “strangers”), adding a level of emotional awkwardness. If I’m physically uncomfortable on top of that (i.e. my chair is at a weird angle, or personal space is limited, or I have a headache, etc.) where do you think the vast majority of my personal energy is focused?

energy

Obviously, in those circumstances, most of my energy is going to go into coping with the situation. Very little will be reserved for making new acquaintances, smiling, or being friendly. I’ll want to use my wife and kids as a shelter, rather than be aware of how they’re feeling, and I’d be filling my time by checking the clock and eyeing the door.

And that’s just one event in a lifetime filled with thousands upon thousands of various such twists and turns. In each of those moments, I’ll only have a limited amount of resources to fall back on. Each day – each hour – each second only has so much energy to expend. That time I spend at work, or at church, or at home, or volunteering – how will I use it? Where will it be focused?

It’s important to understand that. It really does matter.

See, organizational energy is a byproduct of individual energy. We each contribute a portion of the greater whole when it comes to directing the energy of our places of business, or service, or worship. Whether you’re in a family of five, a church of fifty, or a company of twelve thousand, your focus makes a difference on the internal to external ratio of that organization.

Do an audit of the energy being spent by that sleepy church in the Midwest with a slowly shrinking membership. Are they busy trying to keep the people within the walls happy, or are they zealously focused on serving their neighbors and beyond? How have their members affected their ratio? It might be helpful to do an audit of each of them.

And when we’re criticizing the organizations we’re a part of,  maybe we need to do an audit on ourselves.

Just a thought.

June 12, 2013 Posted by | Christ and Church, Marriage and Family, Politics and Other Insects, Work and Money | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Where’s Your Energy Going, and Why It Matters

Quick Hits of the Week

    1. Agree. The church should be engaging the world in a way that is relevant to their lives. Religion and theology shouldn’t get in the way.
    2. Agree. Every church should be striving for improved excellence in their ministry, not accepting less by throwing things together at the last minute or allowing volunteers to serve in areas where they are not gifted. This is a big pet peeve of mine.
    3. Agree. You can’t reach the world if you spend every night at church. The church needs to be equipped and available to serve and minister to those around it.
    4. Eh. The idea that Christians universally support one political party or platform was never really true and has grown less so over the last decade. We each have been formed differently and are moved by different kinds of pain and injustice. We should each follow those ways that God has called us, while finding common ground with each other in the church. (And your decision to not vote doesn’t disqualify you from speaking about this country’s leadership. You should always be free to speak out about your government, and anyone saying otherwise is being embarrassingly stupid.)

April 26, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week

Forgotten God

A friend gave me Forgotten God by Francis Chan when he received a spare copy to read and review. Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit is the book’s stated goal, and as a reader I found myself challenged on several occasions as Chan unpacked the details of that goal throughout the text.

Astonished? This is not a distant, loose connection. This is the Spirit of God choosing you and me to be His dwelling place.

Who is the Holy Spirit? Why do we call on His power? What does it mean to have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us? How do we hear Him? Forgotten God provides a deep exploration of all of these questions, and more. Chan challenges followers of Christ to change the way we think about and interact with the Holy Spirit, and shows how those changes can reform our churches, our relationships and our lives.

When we think of the Spirit of God, we are often too quick to approach it as an impersonal force. We focus on the Spirit’s power and ignore it’s personality. At our worst, we treat the Spirit like a holy vending machine, asking for supernatural healing, or maybe for wisdom and guidance when we are trying to resolve a difficult situation.

We forget that the Holy Spirit is God. He is the loving, eternal presence of the omnipotent God. We encounter His power at His will and for His purpose. He leads us towards holiness and allows us to crucify our flesh (Galatians 5:24), so that that purpose is better fulfilled through us.

I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power. I want to live in such a way that I am desperate for Him to come through. That if He doesn’t come through, I am screwed.

If I have any criticism of Forgotten God, it’s that Chan sometimes attempts to direct the reader into deeper thought or conviction at certain points in the text (i.e. “Take a break from reading and spend some time asking yourself…”). These almost never lined up with the times that his text actually convicted me or turned me towards deeper thought. I hope some of his readers found his guidance at those points helpful, but I just found them distracting.

Other than that, I found this book challenging and worth reading. It especially shined for me when the topic turned towards what a church heavily influenced by the Holy Spirit could be like, and how Chan’s desire to make his church more like the church of Acts 2 completely revolutionized that community.

The church is intended to be a beautiful place of community. A place where wealth is shared and when one suffers, everyone suffers. A place where when one rejoices, everyone rejoices. A place where everyone experiences real love and acceptance in the midst of great honesty about our brokenness. […] Without the Spirit of God in our midst, working in us, guiding us, and living through us, we will never be the kind of people who make up this kind of community.

I am ashamed to admit that I am jealous, but I’m also encouraged. After all, Chan didn’t do anything in his church that you can explain without the Holy Spirit, so there’s hope for the rest of us, right?

November 22, 2010 Posted by | Christ and Church, Read and Reviewed | , , , , , | Comments Off on Forgotten God