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The Main Thing is to Make the Main Thing the Main Thing

It’s 2024 – I hope you’ve finished your debriefing of 2023. Just coping with the work of living day-to-day often distracts us, keeping us in the weeds. So we move forward, wading into life in the new year, not having absorbed the lessons that good reflection can teach, veering to the same dit…
By sethbarnes

It’s 2024 – I hope you’ve finished your debriefing of 2023. Just coping with the work of living day-to-day often distracts us, keeping us in the weeds. So we move forward, wading into life in the new year, not having absorbed the lessons that good reflection can teach, veering to the same ditch we got stuck in last time.

As I look at 2024, my main thing is to help those I’m close to grow and follow God’s path for their lives. And in doing so, I want to maintain my priorities, but I also want to be interruptible. It looks like a spontaneous game with the grandkids, or a planned story time.

Often those I mentor need to not have to schedule time with me, but know I’ll pick up their call right away. I want to respond to the opportunities God may be bringing my way. Both priorities and interruptibility are important, so it’s a tension to be managed.

Peter Lord said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” What is the main thing for you in 2024? As I mentor young leaders, I’ve found one of the hardest things for them to prioritize is loving themselves – walking in the reality of God’s love for them. That’s a starting place that allows them to love others well.

If they can love themselves, settled in their identity, then they can better respond to criticism. They are more effective in prioritizing goals and moving toward effectiveness, good partners for others.

This week, I wrote a number of the team leaders I lead and said the following about switching our focus from efficiency to effectiveness:

We are focusing on Effectiveness this year. This is why understanding the rhema “word of the Lord” is so important. Rhema is about what God is saying to you and your team in this current phase. Without knowing what God is saying to you and your team, you will not be able to lead them into effectiveness.
I have spent the break thinking about “what is God saying to us?” and “what is most important?” I want to see you do that too.
What is difficult is making this change from one way of leading to a new way. If your neural pathways are efficiency-focused or crisis-focused, developing new ones that are effectiveness focused will not be easy. So, how does one move from efficiency to effectiveness?
1. First with understanding. We need to understand context and orient ourselves accordingly to move from efficiency focus to effectiveness focus. Here’s a good article on the subject.
2. With coaching. A good coach has the humility of having failed and knowing that it is hard. They give perspective and ask the kind of questions that help you get a clearer focus on what the main thing is.
What is your main thing? How will you keep it as your main thing in the year ahead?

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