I think lots of times in ministry we over-promise and then end up under-delivering. In other words we say we are going to do something and we don’t. We say we will meet a deadline and are late.
There are lots of reasons we over-promise:
– We are people pleasers at heart. We want to make people happy and think we can do superman (or woman) type feats.
– It is easier to just agree to something or promise something at the moment, even if it is unrealistic in reality.
– Ministry gets busy with tons of distractions. We may have the best of intentions, but something else comes along.
However, there are some serious consequences when we under-deliver:
– We run the risk of disappointing those we are serving.
– Too many disappointments lead to a lack of trust.
– A lack of trust can lead to questions of integrity.
As leaders, we must maintain the trust of those we serve. So how do we over-deliver?
– Don’t set unrealistic deadlines or expectations for yourself. It may sound fabulous to say, but it is meaningless if you can’t meet the deadline. In fact, set a deadline that you can easily beat.
– Surprise people by going above and beyond what they would expect. I think this was Jesus’s idea first.
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Matthew 5:41
– Only promise what you know you can do.
– When you blow it, apologize and do better next time.