The Care and Feeding of Monkeys

“Okay. First, the weekly tag-in helps overcome procrastination. When you meet with your leaders at your Monthly Planning Council, you are discussing upcoming church plans and activities. So you inevitably are giving assignments and asking leaders to follow-through on things. Volunteer leaders will often put these assignments off until the last minute and then they are done poorly or not done at all.

By Tim Massengale

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The Care And Feeding Of Monkeys – Outline

Mark glanced at the phone on his desk when it rang. He had recently gotten caller ID and was now in the habit of looking at the name of who was calling before answering. The small screen on the phone said ‘V R Baker.’ He smiled and answered on the third ring.

“Greetings, Elder! What can I do for you?” he asked.

The caller on the other end paused before answering.

“Hey! How did you know it was me?” the elderly pastor demanded.

“Spiritual intuition. I just felt in the Holy Ghost you were going to call,” the younger pastor answered, his voice heavy with amusement.

“Spiritual intuition, my eye. You probably hid a web cam in my office or something. You spying on me, son?”

Mark laughed. “Caller ID. It helps me avoid all those sales calls. Your name came right up on the phone screen.”

“Humph! New age gadgets. I need to figure out how to block that stuff. It’s getting to where they can follow you everywhere. Anyway, I wanted to know if you would like to meet me for lunch. My treat.”

Mark paused before answering. “Elder, I would sure like to. But I have a ‘to-do’ list that’s two pages long. Ever since I set up my leadership organization, my leaders keep finding stuff for me to do. I’m going crazy trying to solve all their problems.”

“You are trying to fix their problems?” Elder Baker said with a note of surprise.

“Sure! They come to me with a problem, something they can’t seem to get solved themselves, and I try to help them with it. You know – it’s a servant leadership thing.”

“Wow. You do need to meet me for lunch – like now. You have this delegation stuff all backwards. They are supposed to lighten your work load, not the other way around.”

“But if I don’t help them, nothing will get done,” Mark objected.

“Like I said, meet me for lunch in fifteen minutes. The usual place. We need to talk.


Weekly Tag-In

Mark slid into the booth across from the elderly, white-haired pastor. They were neighboring pastors with churches not twenty minutes apart. Elder Vernon Baker had helped Mark get started on a church growth plan that had more than doubled the size of his church.

“So, what’s for lunch?” he asked.

“I’m having the pot pie,” Brother Baker answered, glancing up from the menu. “But the special today is smoked turkey on rye.”

“Sounds good. Now, what’s so critical that you pulled me away from my all-important to-do list?”

“I just need to ask you a few questions. Tell me again how many department leaders you have.”

“Twelve, not counting my wife, who’s over music. So thirteen I guess.”

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The Care And Feeding Of Monkeys – Outline

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