Monday, July 25, 2011


Excuses are like flatulence...annoying and often stinky. In ministry, whether it is planning a mission trip or going to a conference, we deal with deadlines. Deposits, paperwork and final payments often have deadlines that are sadly never enforced at the local level. It frustrates the organizational side of me to no end to deal with individuals who believe their circumstance or position are an exception to the rule.

Before you start throwing stones at me for being anti-sympathetic to people...let me admit...I'm a very compassionate person. Often times TOO compassionate. I am a pushover and will more often than not give in when pressed in a situation. It is a quality I'm working on, thus my frustration.

We as Christians often excuse procrastination, business and most often...laziness. What would have happened if Noah would have procrastinated? The world would be a completely different place. Accepting excuses destroys the structure of our planning. What is the point of setting a deadline/requirements if there's no enforcement? When we develop a pattern of not enforcing the deadline/requirements we ruin our opportunities to be organized.

Being organized means making excuses.

The executive pastor at the church I work for has taught me more than anyone about being organized and setting deadlines. We have a huge Christmas festival here at our church every year that brings in close to 30,000 people over two 3-night weekends. An event at this level cannot be done successfully without deadlines. Each ministry is given an area to lead and deadlines are assigned. Deadlines as to how many volunteers to recruit, supplies acquired and props setup. While a majority of these deadlines are soft deadlines that are more progress markers....there are some that are non-negotiable. If by the deadline we do not have at least 20 volunteers committed to the parking squad for each night...we are called out on it. There is no excuse good enough for us to explain why we haven't met the deadline.

Our lack of planning is never an excuse to not meet a deadline...failing to plan causes us to perform in "emergency mode." A mode where we sacrifice excellence for mediocrity. A mode where we no longer have time to be picky. A mode where act panicky.

I don't want to sound like I feel I'm perfect or never make a mistake. I'm far from it. I strive to plan ahead, but I desire to own the moments where I mess up. I try to own the moments where I let life get ahead of me. I don't make excuses. I admit to myself and those who I have put in a tough situation that I failed to plan. When we're able to humble ourselves and admit that we've failed to plan we are less likely to let it happen again.

Live a life...with NO EXCUSES!

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