Just preach good
Being a leader who likes to get what I'm expecting in the way of the run of an event, I've often gotten upset over the years when something I've planned, checked up on, re-reminded people about, and been counting on falls by the wayside. To me it makes no sense. I'm the type of person that can keep 100 details spinning and get it all done without anybody reminding me. I don't need a babysitter. When people don't take care of details it threatens my mental health not to mention my focus at an event when I'm the speaker.
To say I hate when that happens is the understatement of the year. Larry always says, "you've gotta inspect what you expect." Well, I do. To the point of over-doing it at times -- to the point of micro-managing. Make no mistake, I don't want to micromanage but often I feel I have no choice. Much of the time, it's micromanage, or show up and have an emergency on my hands. Or, to put it another way - don't micromanage - leave people to rise or fall to the occasion - and I show up and look like an idiot.
I memo, write out lists and expectations, and say things like, "now, I'm just making sure you've got this ready as we discussed..." to whatever worker or team it is that I'm working with. And then...many times in spite of all that at times things still fall through.
Years ago it would just destroy me. It would make me sick. It was to the point where when it happened, I'd just want to walk out of the building, leave the event and never look back. I'd fantasize about walking out, leaving everybody there to scramble - wondering what to do. My head would be filled with glee at the thought of them trying to do what I always find myself having to do! I'd dream about going to a department store, leisurely buying myself a new outfit, stopping by Starbucks for a latte on the way home, and going home to bed and forgetting like the event ever existed. I've never done that but I sure have dreamed about it at times. Thankfully, over the years I've begun to handle this better.
Up until recently when things went awry with details, it still affected my preaching. And I just made the decision in recent months, it's not going to anymore. I figure, if everything else falls apart, something or somebody needs to redeem the time and make the whole thing worthwhile. And nothing can do that like preaching God's Word strongly and having a great altar time. I think you could probably have the legs on a table break and send all the china crashing to the floor but if the speaker got up and brought the house down and a bunch of great spiritual stuff happened people might not care about the table crashing later on. Just preach good. That's all you have to worry about in order to have the right memory prevail. I think preaching good and having a great altar call would pretty much redeem anything - except moral failure that is! (And I don't plan on having one!) So that's my new mantra. Preach good.
Previously when stuff happened most people might not have guessed that I was affected by it with the way I ministered. The ministry was effective per se, but I always knew that I was doing less than my best in speaking because my mind was overwhelmed by the fact that somebody didn't show up, or do what they were supposed to do and now another part of the evening wasn't as good as it could have been.
The other night some stuff fell through the cracks and it was so obvious to anyone who knew anything about the inside track of the event. I never discussed it that night to speak of, but anybody who knows me and how I operate could have readily seen a few things that weren't right. Larry knew it and we weren't even together during the event but he could see quite a number of things happen that he knew weren't going according to plan. So he came up to me while I was sitting at my table eating and said, "Um, everything okay?" and I said, "yep." And he looked at me like, "are you crazy? I know everything's not okay!" (He said this not because of anything I did or didn't do, but because he noticed things that he couldn't imagine I wouldn't be upset about.) I said, "Lar, whether something is right or wrong, there's nothing I can do about it now. And the fact is this...whether things are okay or not, they are going to be just fine in a minute because I'm going make them that way. I'm going to get up and turn this place right side up the minute I take the stage."
And that's what happened.
I have a new philosophy...as much as I hate stuff going wrong (especially when it's one of my God-dreams --- and boy do I have them!) the fact is it's much better for me to basically be in complete denial at the moment about whatever feelings I have about it so that I can just minister at full capacity and see God do something powerful.
Stuff went wrong days beforehand. Stuff went wrong that night. Senseless stuff that never needed to take place. But I knew as soon as 8:00 pm hit and I got up to speak, if I just kept my mind on giving the word God gave me, all was going to be right in that place at that moment. It's amazing what FOCUS can do. The time to correct things or make adjustments can come later on.
Looking back on it...I'm still not happy a few things went wrong. HOWEVER -- at least now instead of just going, "look at all that went wrong and then I was upset and my mind was clouded as I preached..." I'm now saying this: "okay, so a bunch of stuff did go wrong BUT I put all that aside for a moment...got up and laid my heart out before the people...and saw God move...and now the next day the mess ups thankfully pale in comparison to the spiritual results I have to look back on."
Alexa got saved Friday night. For the "Alexa's" out there, I can't afford to not have my game on. I can't afford to be peeved about something and lose the anointing to bring God's Word and hear His voice...because people like Alexa are counting on people like me to not be affected by detail busters.
Just preach good. It's my new motto.