BY: JEN STEM
I have a serious problem – a problem that I know I’m not alone in. I’m a Type-A leader in ministry (first step is admitting it, right?). I am a serious people-pleasing perfectionist, who lets the thoughts of not meeting the expectations of others keep me from following through with tasks, ideas, and dreams. Let me explain.
As I sat down to write, I was seconds away from backing down and chickening-out. No idea seemed groundbreaking enough. Nothing I could provide in writing seemed like it would make a difference in the lives of Oklahoma student ministry leaders. There was nothing I could think of that hasn’t been written before, said before, or could be found on a number of different blogs or forums. After all, “there’s nothing new under the sun,” right?
That is where the problem begins and ends for a lot of us. We let the fear of not measuring up keep us from ever starting something that God has written on our hearts to do. How many dreams have gone by as just passing thoughts when they could have been so much more? How many ideas have been shot down too soon because they weren’t good enough, or new enough, or different enough, or perfect enough? How many blog posts have started and ended in the same sentence because of the notion in the writer’s head that nothing he or she could say or write would make a difference in someone else’s life?
It’s time to start putting action to the ideas that God has given each one of us for our individual lives and ministries. It’s time to kick perfectionism to the curb and follow through with the dreams that we have hidden for far too long. In order to do this, we need to recognize three things:
1. Comparison is the enemy of what God wants to do through you. You have to be ok with the fact that there will always be someone out there that can do it better than you. What’s not ok is using this as an excuse to not do what God has called you to do. If you don’t do something because you want to be the best at it, you’ll never do anything at all.
2. The idea that perfect conditions must exist before starting a project will keep you from starting every time. There will never be a day where the sun, moon, and stars line up perfectly and you can do everything you need to do without any problems arising. Dreams and ideas take time to carry through. Thomas Edison didn’t perfect the light bulb in a day. In fact, it’s something that is still being fine-tuned and adjusted today.
3. Even the smallest actions always hold more value than ideas. An ounce of action will always carry more weight than a pound of idea. It doesn’t have to be perfect before it can be started. But something that is never started will also never be finished.
Have you ever held yourself back from putting action to a dream or idea because you don’t think it will be good enough? Have you counted yourself out because of comparison or because you’re waiting on the perfect conditions before you can begin? Let me encourage you: start taking steps today to move forward and put feet to the dreams God has put in your heart!
Jen and her husband Jon currently serve as the Student Ministry Pastors of Refresh Student Ministry and the Worship Pastors for Claremore Assembly of God, just northeast of Tulsa. Jen also handles all of the creative and printed materials for the church. She graduated from Central Bible College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Theology, Pre-Sem and is a Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God. Jen dabbles in photography and can usually be found singing, laughing at her own jokes, drinking iced tea or coffee, or posting outrageous pictures of her cats, Lady and Oreo, on Instagram. She enjoys reading and loves attending her husband’s Mixed Martial Arts class.