Monday, September 1, 2014

Focused but not Narrow

Focused but not Narrow

Recently I was in a meeting with a ywam leader.  He said to me “FM is very narrow.”  As we talked, I found that what he really meant was that we as FM are very focused.  We are called for one very specific task…to see CPMs among the unreached.  But his statement has had me thinking about this a lot these past few days.

It is good to be focused.  We must be focused.  We must not lose our focus!  Sometimes we talk about the need for a laser sharp focus.  We have to keep the goal and end vision of a CPM among the unreached constantly at the forefront of everything we do.  If what we are doing isn’t leading us toward that, then we need to ask ourselves whether or not we should be doing those things.  We have to be careful to avoid distractions.  So many things pull us away from this goal!  One quality I’ve seen in every person who is truly seeing fruit and success in starting CPMs is that they maintain a very sharp focus on CPM work. 

It is NOT good, however, to be narrow.  Especially if that means we are narrow-minded.  It is NOT good for us to think starting CPMs is the only thing that is important in the Kingdom of God.  It is NOT good when we stop listening and learning from other ministries that are not CPM focused.  It is NOT good when we isolate ourselves from others who have different callings and anointings then we do, or when we cut ourselves off from fellowship and friendship with them. 

I am a very focused person.  When I am working on something, I don’t hear anyone, see anyone or even notice other things going on around me.  There have been times when I was working on something on my computer, writing an article, or thinking through an issue and my husband or my kids wanted to ask me a question.  There have been times when they wanted to say something to me, or even just get a hug from me.  When Im really working hard and very focused on something, I don’t like to be disturbed.  Sometimes I can react to people who disturb me.  Sometimes my reaction is less than loving.  Sometimes I am rude even.  I’ve hurt my husband and kids sometimes in my reactions..because I am so focused on my task.

I’ve had to learn how to manage this part of my personality.  I’ve had to learn that my FOCUS can sometimes WOUND others.  I’ve had to learn to let go of my intense focus for a few minutes, to listen, to look, to engage with others around me, to show them love and care.  Then I can return to my focus, task and goal.  I’m learning and my family understands me, loves me and has forgiven me many times.

I think it’s a little like that with us in FM.  We can become so FOCUSed that we aren’t always loving toward those around us, toward other ministries in YWAM.  We are too focused, too busy, to take a moment to acknowledge them, to show we care about them and what they are doing.  Sometimes we may be so intensely focused that we are even rude. 

We need to learn how to manage our focus well and with love and maturity.  We need to be willing to be interrupted in our focus, for a moment or two, to stop and listen and love and care for others who are not engaged in the same focused task as us.  That might mean we attend a YWAM gathering that doesn’t really have anything to do with CPMs, or what we are wanting to see happen. It might be providing hospitality or help to a short term team for a day or two.  That doesn’t mean we lose our focus.  Im not saying we should just throw out our focus or even leave it for very long.  In fact we need to be careful that these kinds of things don’t start to dominate our schedules to where we have little time for what we are truly called to do.  We must maintain our focus.

But lets not be narrow people.  Lets love, learn from, welcome and engage with the rest of our wonderful YWAM family.  We have much to gain by our relationship with this family.  We also have much to give.  Lets be focused in our task, but have broad hearts of love that are not narrow, but that embrace all that God is doing in the world.  Lets honor, champion, encourage, respect, and engage with others who have different callings, perspectives, and goals then we do.

Lord, give us wisdom and maturity.  Help us to stay intensely focused on seeing CPMs among the unreached.  Please help us not to be distracted from this very, very important calling you’ve given us.  We can so easily get off track.  But please also help us to be open people.  Open minded.  Open hearted.  Willing to be disturbed from our focus, for brief moments, as we love the people around us.  We need you Lord.  Thank you for helping us grow more like you.  Amen. 


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