Don’t Focus on the Bad 1%
I was listening to a speech made by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma to a group of students and he described the weight of his work and how he succeeded in business in spite of the problems he faced as a businessman.
He said that his company Alibaba serves 500,000,000 customers. If you have 1% bad customers or 1% complaint – that is 5,000,000 things you have to deal with.
When he said that, the Chinese in me was focusing on the 1% failure and neglecting the 99% success. It is like when I delivered what I feel was a great preaching and saw many people get saved and transformed because of God’s word. If one guy makes a negative comment on my preaching – my human nature would tend to be affected by the 1 negative comment than the 99 positive things happening.
The same thing happens in church. Sometimes we get so caught up with the “wrong” 1% and neglect the 99% great things God is doing in our church. Instead of celebrating the win, I have as a leader, the tendency to be hard on myself because of the unsuccessful 1% that is out of my hand.
Let me get practical. Last year, we launched a church campaign that encouraged our members to be involved in discipleship groups. I preach my heart out, our leaders were pumped to have new people in their groups, and we were praying that we would get a big number of persons to signup for it. During our Tuesday meeting, I asked our discipleship team how many people signed up and out of the thousands who heard the message – we had a very dismal number.
I felt sad and frustrated till the Holy Spirit reminded me that prior to the sign up – we had at least 50% of our people in discipleship groups. Aside from that, we ended 2014 with the highest rate of discipleship and produced the most number of small group leaders in Victory Greenhills’ history.
What was the moral of the lesson for me and our team: Quit barking on the wrong tree. Some people no matter how hard you tell them to change their ways – it is still the Holy Spirit’s job to do the convicting work. We as leaders are called to preach, demonstrate what discipleship is. Rather than focus on the few who will not get involved – celebrate the win among the thousands who are involved. Focus your energy on people who are passionate about the vision and are willing to do something about their faith.
In life and leadership, we will always have failures and setbacks. A great leader knows that his energy is to be put to proper use. We have to stop whining, complaining and grumbling and starting doing the work that God has called us to do. Stop barking the wrong tree and start chasing what God has called you to chase – you will be surprised with the people whom God has prepared to bark on the right tree with you.