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Avery was asked to serve as Chairman of the Deacon body of his church. Having held this esteemed position previously, Avery was a good choice. He had served well and led the deacons through some tough times at the church. Yet, this time Avery declined the opportunity to serve in this capacity using his God-given gifts and talents. What appeared to be a certainty, a win-win for everyone, was not to be.

Avery was asked a week later to serve on the Futures committee for his church. The church attendance was growing and seeing new people come to faith.  It was easy to see the church was filling to capacity. The church entering a time of difficult decisions. The facilities were older and quickly becoming too small to handle the continued influx of people.

It did not take long for Avery to make his decision. “Yes,” he would serve on this team. Avery took long enough to pray and answer three questions. Avery’s decision proved to be the correct one. While not serving as chairmen, he helped lead the team through some difficult discussions and decisions take to the church which led the church to effectively continue serving and reaching new people, which has continued for the past seven years.

In every situation of life, we each have a question to answer. “What is to be my contribution?” It is more than “what do I have to offer?” We all have much to offer, but contribution goes farther than an offer. An offer is what I possibly could do. A contribution is to impact the outcome. A contribution imparts involvement, influence, and impact. A contribution requires taking an active role in the opportunity at hand.

Avery certainly had much to offer as chairman of deacons, but at this particular time in his life God had other plans. While he did not know until a week after turning down the deacon chair position, Avery was being prepared by God, not for an offering, but for a gifted contribution. Avery’s contribution made an impact to lead the church forward. Avery like many effective leaders asked himself the right questions to allow him to make the greatest contribution to his church at that particular time.

Effective leaders and team members – both church and business world – are willing to ask themselves the questions that will lead to the greatest effectiveness of the team in every situation.

The three questions Avery asked of himself relate to three questions posed by Peter Drucker in a Harvard Business Review article in 2005.

  • What does the situation require?
  • Given my strengths, my way of performing, and my values, how can I make the greatest contribution to what needs to be done?
  • What results have to be achieved to make a difference?

Answering these questions is not to be taken lightly or to be used to get my way. Every person should ask him/herself these questions while setting all personal desires and aspirations aside. This is not easy, but God gifted you for His desires, not yours. What is your contribution? Setting self aside, for the good of the kingdom, of what opportunities will you ask these three questions this week?

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