5 Obstacles Between You and the Work You Love

Many of us know what we love to do but do something else with our time.  Why?  What obstacles are standing between us and what we love?

horse and jockey jumping gate

Recently my blogging has waned, and part of that change was planned.  I have much on my plate and I decided not long ago that writing three times a week is unreasonable for my stage in life.

The part that was not planned is not blogging at all.

I have always enjoyed writing, but particularly so in the past two years.  I have enjoyed connecting with people through ideas I share, but writing has also stretched my mind and helped me to process my own heart issues.

Recently, though, I have found myself not writing at all, and I have begun wondering why that is the case.  What obstacles have been keeping me from writing, which I love?

Here are the obstacles I found.  Some of these obstacles are not within my control, but some are.  Perhaps you can relate.

  1. Life Chaos.  Some life events are beyond our control.  Three times this summer I have had the boys by myself for a week at a time.  I love my boys and I want this special, focused time as a family, but managing a full time job and having the boys with me 24/7 ups the chaos in my life.
  2. Exhaustion.  I have been very tired this summer.  Some of this is due to obstacle number 1, but much of this is due to the fact that I am a night owl with morning responsibilities.  I can change the second one.
  3. Changing Priorities.  Sometimes being drawn away from things we love signals a change in our priorities, as it has with me.  This summer I have not been as diligent at protecting time for me, thus my writing and other things have suffered.  Priorities can also change for good reasons, such as the fact that I have not written as much in order to focus on other projects and relationships.
  4. Difficulty.  Doing what you love can be hard.  Now that I have been writing steadily for two years I have to work a little harder at finding fresh topics.  I am very human; I like easy things, not hard ones.  I tend to think what I love should be easy, which is rarely the case.  We value the things we earn more than the things we take.
  5. Laziness.  I will admit it.  I like to do nothing.  At all.  Sometimes this takes the form of much needed and healthy spiritual retreat time.  Other times, however, I want to do nothing because it means I can, well, do nothing.

Those are my obstacles.  What are yours?

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How to Evaluate Worship Songs, Part 2

Thousands of songs are being written every week, and choosing which ones to introduce to your congregation is like the cliché: searching for a needle in a haystack.

Choosing the right songs usually focuses on the merits of the song itself, as we discussed in a previous post. The individual merits of a song, however, are not enough to deem a song appropriate for your congregation.

After evaluating songs for Quality we must also evaluate them for Fit. 

What does Fit mean?

Think of this analogy. When we hire a new employee we not only look for their professional qualifications and recommendations but also their fit with the existing staff. Does the potential employee complement the skills of the existing staff? Is he aligned with the mission of the organization? Does he add to or detract from staff chemistry?

We must evaluate songs in the same way.

Here are 5 things to consider when evaluating a song for Fit:

  1. Alignment. Does this song promote the current purposes of the church? Just as every staff member and volunteer must be moving in the same direction, every song must support the same mission.
  2. Chemistry. Does this song meet a specific need or address a particular weakness in the current repertoire? Types of needs could be tempo, theme, style, instrumentation, and so forth.
  3. Style. Is this song within the stylistic spectrum of the church? Every church has a stylistic fingerprint, and each song should reinforce the fingerprint.
  4. Difficulty. Is this song at an appropriate difficulty level for the worship team? Is the melody learnable for the congregation? Many great quality worship songs are just beyond the ability of a worship team to handle. Israel Houghton’s band will be able to do more difficult music than most bands, for instance.
  5. Stretch. Is this song intended to stretch the congregation or worship team in some way? While numbers 1-4 focus on a song’s fit within the current musical repertoire of a church, some songs should stretch those normal boundaries in appropriate and thoughtful ways. NOTE: “Stretch” songs should be few and far between.

What other criteria do you use when evaluating a song for Fit?