God always speaks to me through corporate settings. Like many Americans, and yes – even some pastors, I spend at least 9 to 10 hours per day in a corporate setting. In my case, I work in a Project Management organization within the field of Clinical Research.
As a project management professional, scope is a consistent topic. Every project has a scope, which is a scale of the subject matter being addressed by the project. It defines the work guidelines to ensure the project team understands the tasks within its realm of responsibility, and those that are not. Ultimately, the job of the project manager is to deliver the specified product or service on time, with quality and within budget, avoiding scope creep along the way. Scope creep “refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project's scope. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. It is generally considered harmful.” (Google definition)
I find that in the Body of Christ, ministers and leaders must understand the scope of our responsibility as Kingdom managers. Ultimately, the scope is to reconcile people back to God, through Jesus Christ. That’s it! Oftentimes, though, scope creep causes us to miss the assignment. We become all things to all people, which causes so many distractions. We accept tasks and responsibilities that are not ours to own. We concentrate more on socialization than salvation, more on emotions than deliverance, which is detrimental to ministry. As a result, many are stressed over things that quite frankly have nothing to do with the original scope.
In project management, the project manager is responsible for setting the standards. The scope is defined through a set of tools, which include time lines, communication and escalation plans, a definition of roles and responsibilities, meeting schedules and a host of other things to clarify expectations. Perhaps this is a missing link in Kingdom management for many of us. We fail to set the expectation up front. We “lure” people into the church or into the realm of our ministries through worldly activities and shallow relationships rather than setting the expectation for godly connections. Anything outside of that is out of scope. Relationships based on anything other than the truth of Christ are out of scope. Up front, ministers of God must make it clear that we are servants of people, but not their employees. Popularity and comfort are not factors. Ministry is a serious thing. The final delivery is Christ’s Church, without spot or wrinkle. Nothing else matters. Ministry does not exist to create fan clubs. It’s not about who or what we like.
We have to be so careful when dealing with people. We all have our shortcomings. We all have or preferences. Ultimately, it’s not our job as ministers to worry about that. I think about how much time I’ve lost dealing with personality rather than character or catering to people’s expectations rather than God’s. It’s all waste. It accounts for nothing.
Let’s get back to the work at hand. Souls. Truth. Love… JESUS! He is the final answer!