One of the hardest things about being a leader or being a human is that you can’t fix everything or everyone. Often as a leader, by the time someone comes to you for help, it is often too late. People don’t seek out a pastor or a counselor at the beginning of a problem. Instead, they wait until the relationship is all but over, the addiction has destroyed everything in their life, the debt has piled up so high it would take a crane to move it.
While I have seen God perform huge miracles in these situations and rescue people and relationships and situations when all hope was gone. It is incredibly hard to walk through it. You feel paralyzed. You feel helpless.
As a pastor, or someone who has the gift of mercy or helps, there is always someone who you could help. But you know you can’t help everyone. Sometimes you don’t have the time because of other commitments, sometimes it is better for someone else to help them.
Andy Stanley has a great line that has freed up my thinking in this area: Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.
I can’t help everyone, but I can help one. I can’t meet with everyone, but I can meet with one. I can’t counsel every couple, perform every wedding, perform every funeral, but I can do one.
This has helped me to engage strategically who that one is. Sometimes, it is a matter that I need to hand it off to someone else. Think about this from a leadership perspective. If you as a pastor counsel everyone in the church, you actually prevent others from using their gifts to walk with people. If I help everyone, I actually keep others from helping other people. I hinder the use of the gifts God has given to them.
Some might think, this is just a way to be lazy, not do anything and feel good about it. The reality of a pastor is that handing things off to other people is incredibly difficult. When I give something away to someone, big or small, I need to take a baseball bat to several idols of my heart.
So, as a parent, leader, teacher, pastor, friend. What is something you wish you could do for everyone that you can do for one today? Tomorrow? Next week?