Nobody wants to get fired.
I’ve never had the experience and most of me hopes I never have to know what it’s like.
But there’s another part of me that earnestly prays to be fired one day over one word: capacity.
I sincerely hope and pray that God allows me to be a part of a movement of his grace so powerful that it fills our church with so many people with so many different experiences, problems, and triumphs that I am simply incapable of effectively carrying the leadership load of such a movement and a change in that position is necessary.
In short, I’m praying to see someone else work me out of my job.
I love my church so much and want to see God do something mighty within her, something far more abundantly than I even know how to ask. I want something to happen there that exceeds my current ability so quickly that a change has to be made to keep the Gospel movement spreading at a rapid pace.
Everyone has their own leadership limits. Knowing those limits isn’t weakness; it’s wisdom.
Of course I am also praying to continue to grow in ability so that I can see that movement happen from my current position, but I’m convinced far too many churches, organizations, and companies become stagnant because they hit the leadership capacity ceiling of whoever is in charge and instead of making a change to help propel them to the next level they stay put and settle into complacency.
I care too much about my church to allow that to happen.
I first started thinking about this concept of capacity almost a year ago now. I got to spend a weekend at the Village Church in Dallas, TX and in one of the breakout sessions, one of their three Lead Pastors, Josh Patterson, spoke about their hiring process. He mentioned he looks at four C’s when interviewing new applicants:
1. Competency – Can you actually do the job?
2. Compatability – Will you be a good fit within the greater organization?
3. Core values – Are you trustworthy? Do you have good work ethic? Can I trust that you’ll do what you say you’ll do?
The first 3 C’s made a lot of sense to me and I had heard them before. The fourth one initially caught me off guard.
4. Capacity – Do you have the skill set to adapt and grow with the job as it gets more demanding?
Patterson said when they do annual staff evaluations, they can evaluate their staff’s performance very quickly with just a few questions, all centered around capacity.
- Do you actually have the capacity for your job that you seemed to display when you were first hired?
- Do you possess the capacity to continue in your current job as it has grown more demanding than when you first started?
Patterson later said that they have let people go almost every year of the church’s existence because of how they answered the latter question.
His reasoning is simple: Why let one person’ capacity, no matter how good or nice or beneficial that person is, limit the future of the organization as a whole? How much more true is this in a church where what’s at stake may not be numbers or member satisfaction but the very Gospel itself?
Although it would be hard to take, I sincerely hope to be fired one day because of capacity concerns. I will never stop learning or trying to lead to the best of my ability. However if that pink slip day comes, I can take great joy in knowing that God allowed me to be a part of something so much bigger than me, and by moving me aside it was able to continue advancing for the greater good.
I know my current leadership limits. While I am constantly working hard to expand my capacity, one person should never be a good enough reason to hold a good movement from continuing to advance further and further.
Whatever you’re most passionate about, it’s not all about you.
- Some people are skilled enough to preach for 50 people but not 500. Some are skilled enough for 500 but not 5,000.
- Some people are skilled enough to manage 10 clients, but not 100. Some are skilled enough for for 100, but not 1,000. You get my drift.
It doesn’t mean you’re less of a person, especially not in the eyes of the One who created you in His image. So rejoice in your weakness.
Seek to expand your capacity, but never try and be someone you’re not. God doesn’t need another version of someone else, which is why he made you YOU.