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12 July 2014

In Pursuit of Impact?

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A question of motivation

Have you ever described your life story in a few carefully chosen words?

In one of my seminars, I’ve used this example for my own six-word life story: “Loves God, family, nature and impact.” I sometimes ask attendees, “What stands out in that story?” Their answer? “The word impact doesn’t seem to fit.”

I agree it seems a bit incongruous. But these are truly the loves of my life, in order. The word impact is there because I really want to do significant things that can change lives and change the world.

A book review – a simple book review – that I read recently threw down a significant challenge. It refocused the importance I place on impacting others’ lives and redirected my focus on God.

The book review appeared in our latest issue of InSite magazine, the periodical we publish at Christian Camp and Conference Association. I read a quote by Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales: “I realized I’m not supposed to be pursuing impact. I’m supposed to be pursuing God. And when I pursue God I have exactly as much impact as He wants me to have.”

Hmmm…conviction set in. I didn’t interpret Vischer’s comment as super-spiritual or trying to prove something; I saw it pointing to a need for me to think about my motivation. Focusing on our own impact seems arrogant when we remember that it’s God working through us. The remembrance and realization humbles me.

I wonder if I’m not alone in my need for a reset—or at least a reminder. During any busy season, and certainly for CCCA’s member camps this summer, it’s easy to focus on the multitude of needs before us. But this focus leads to long days and short nights, and it fills our entire field of vision. As our member camps illustrate, they work hard for the cause of Christ, to ensure the best camper and guest experience possible, with the hope of rich eternal results in those lives.

I’m seeing Matthew 6:33 in a new light: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

My caution for each of us is that we not seek the impact rather than the Master, the one for whom we labor. I can get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of tasks that need to get done because I want to do them all with excellence. Why? Because I want to make an impact; I want my life to count. But Vischer’s quote reminds me to re-evaluate my focus,  to be in constant contact with God, pursuing His wisdom and will for my life as my Number One priority—even when I’m crazy-busy.

Will you join me in committing to pursue God—knowing Him, talking with Him, listening for Him—and letting the impact happen as a result of that relationship? Can we use our passion for results and impact as a reminder to seek Him first?

I’ll be watching for the difference this re-focus makes in my own life. Please share your experience by adding a comment here.

 

5 thoughts on “In Pursuit of Impact?

  1. As our organization prepares for a leadership succession in the next few months, and I’m reflecting on all God has done over the past 47 years of ministry, it’s been very easy for me as the next leader, to desire to create more “impact” and look for ways to drive our staff towards that goal. Your blog hit me right where I needed Gregg, and at just the right time, as I prepare to lay out some vision to our team, this week. God has, and will, give us all we need to accomplish all He has for us to do. All we need to do is focus on Him and trust that Jeremiah 33:3 is a promise that never changes, just as He doesn’t. Thank you for the reminder and re-focusing this morning.

  2. Wow! What a response from God. As I prayed this morning I was asking God “How can I know if I’m making an impact in my ministry for You?” In your blog comes His response. My focus needs redirected. Thank you for sharing.

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