I tend to be an all or nothing person when it comes to my expectation of doing things. I know that this is a weakness for me. God has lately kept reminding me of how merciful He is to me and how much of a work in progress I am. So last year I decided to apply a new rule for getting things done within the ministry of Life Teen. You see I was applying my “all or nothing mindset” under the guise of doing our best for God and teens to the big projects we were working on. Doing this in turn caused tension and a lot of delays. I was approaching everything like it was all or nothing. We had to make it 100% first and then launch it. For example our new website Catholicyouthministry.com and our revised lifeteen.com. I realized that if I waited for the sites to be perfect, we would still not have launched them. So here is a rule that I applied to keep the ball moving forward on major projects with Life Teen.
The Over 80% Rule -
It’s pretty simple. If I could accept that our teams would at least be at 80% of what we set out to do towards our ultimate goal for what the project looked like – I would let the project launch and effectively move the ministry forward without the delay of waiting for perfection. When I decided to give this a shot, great things happened. You know what, our teams rarely settled for the 80% level anyway and operated in the 90% to 95% range all year long. Our teams felt empowered and energized to be churning out so much good for God and teens. And by the way, I realized that I was a lot less stressed as well.
For those of you who are parents, this rule works great with parenting your children and moving them forward in life. It works in our prayer lives as well. It works in letting teens share in leadership roles and in getting your youth ministry to grow to new levels. You see if we wait until something is 100%, we may never get it there. As long as we are transparent and admit we are a work in progress, the teens and families we serve will stick with it.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are certain areas where we won’t negotiate and accept less than 100%. Areas like Life Teen being anything less than 100% faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church or being 100% obedient to the Magisterium. There is also no lesser percent we ever accept in keeping teens safe. We also strive to be 100% good stewards of the resources God gives us. Those are some of the areas where we strive to be 100% at all times with and are non-negotiable.
There are still many areas that are negotiable and the 80% rule when applied can help move things forward in your ministry. So pick one area that is negotiable and allow your target to be at least 80% and see what happens. From one control freak to another – it might just be the best thing you do this year!