The mistake of trying to achieve 100% perfection
OK…I have been a bad blogger. Let me take that back. I have been a really bad blogger. I have done the unforgivable sin of not posting for almost a year. I could make all sorts of excuses. I was made the acting VP for my industry team and had to build a team from scratch. I was helping my wife recover from a near fatal accident. I was traveling constantly. I needed to walk the dog. I needed to (YOU GET THE IDEA.)
All of these are excuses. While many of them are very good (especially the dog one…Jackson is what most people call slightly wide), none of them are the true reason I have not tapped out a single post in a year. They are all my feeble attempts to hid a character flaw in myself when it comes to writing and representing my field.
The truth is: I am addicted to achieving 100% perfection.
When I have written for my blog, I want to hit the home run every time. I want to write something profound, thought provoking and helpful to those who are working to bring marketing to life in our churches. We face many struggles internal to the church (who think it is nothing more than shameless car salesmanship) and those external who think we are trying to jamming something down their throats. Neither is the case, but it is a tightrope we walk to help further the churches’ understanding on how to leverage marketing, social media and communication to extend the reach of the Gospel.
So…as a result, I put off blogging because I wanted each post to be able to stand on its own to impart wisdom and provide practical how-to’s to our pastors and lay people to best take advantage of this new world. Some articles were quite good in providing help while others were not as helpful. Adding to this desire to achieve a home run every time, I also switched over to WordPress and I have had some formatting and picture issues that I have tried to clean up and viola…I’m stuck.
Don’t get stuck in the need for perfection.
As I was praying this AM, my blog came up in my thoughts and I asked God (and myself) why I stopped blogging and should I get started again. I’ve been writing articles for United Methodist Communications (see the full list on my LinkedIn page and feel free to connect) and trying to get stuff done at my own church. Isn’t that enough? What is holding me back? Why do I have some sort of blogging block?
The truth was that I felt like anything I wrote on my blog needed to be perfect before publishing. This desire to achieve the 100% runs strong in me. But then I had to ask myself the question…is this valuable to God? Does God want us to hold on to our efforts until they are perfect? OR does God want us to get out there and get messy and allow His grace to bring it to perfection? Who was I relying on? God or myself?
I have a one word response to that: OUCH!
There is also another one word answer to that: EGO. Yep, there, I said it. Who was I worrying about glorifying with my blog, myself or God? This does not mean that God wants us to be careless and sloppy, but He does want us to get out there and make a difference. Sharing thoughts with one another strengthens us all. It is one of the reasons I love reading my wife’s Facebook status updates. As a pastor (and she blogs too!), she writes some amazing status updates based on her observations and even her prayers. In the 5 minutes she takes to write it and the 15 seconds it takes me to read it, my life is enriched.
So…what you will see if me is a little bit of a change in tone for this blog. I will write as I am inspired and it will be a bit messy. Once I feel like my thoughts has coalesced about a topic, I’ll try to kick on an e-book like I did for Connecting with Your Community or write a long, formal blog post for financial giving. If you want the official how-to’s…look to United Methodist Communications MyComm page where I have an article once per month (and I will try to point to them here too.)
If you have any questions you want answered, feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to address them in next post. One warning…my answers may not be perfect, but they will be honest and authentic. We’ll let God to the perfecting from here on out.