As part of my leading I'm also called upon to speak and give information regarding our offering (more business than spiritual). The pastor wants a certain energy. I have tried to fulfill this role but find I mess up more than I get it right. I finally decided that I really don't think I fit this particular duty and asked if we could find someone else to do it. The question back was if I was quitting because I'm not willing to be outside of my comfort zone. I feel as if it isn't how I'm designed but the perception back was that I was "giving up.". My question is how do you know if you are giving something up because it just doesnt seem to be in your design and when you are just being a quitter?
Great question, Viclyn! The first thought that comes to my mind is "What is the Holy Spirit saying?" If you are "quitting" based on following the Holy Spirit's guidance, you're acting out of obedience. Thus, you should be encouraged. Conversely, if the Holy Spirit is teaching you a truth of God's kingdom and your flesh gets in the way, it's disobedience and you're kicking against the goad (so to speak). All I can really offer is to keep pressing in to the Holy Spirit's lead. He never lies, and he always guides us to righteousness. Chose obedience. Don't worry about what others say. God knows your motives, and will comfort you if there are any naysayers among you. Blessings to you!!!!
Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
Great advice above! I'll add that recently I have been taking situations like this and trying harder to not quit for the very purpose of being stretched. Sometimes I do that and still end up quitting because it's not the right thing to do but other times I have opened up a new skill or side to leadership.
Specifically with regard to speaking before offerings, prayers, etc. (anything where you're not totally comfortable), my advice is to write out what you want to say and have it up there with you. Some of the best advice I ever got was to do this until I was totally comfortable without notes. Obviously you don't want to read from a script but most of us can have our script up there and just glance at it without many knowing it. We're creatures of habit and I've found that keeping to a script until I'm comfortable with the style my pastor is looking for is a huge help.
Good advice so far.
The other aspect is Satan's voice telling you to quit. Offering is powerful. For most people money is power. For the church, money means they can preach the gospel, keep the lights and AC on, keep the mortgage paid, and provide a living for our spiritual leadership. Satan will do whatever he can to disrupt it. He knows that if people give their money cheerfully, the Gospel reaches further.
You have been tasked with a role that takes a certain level of salesmanship (for lack of a better word), communication, and delivery. There is a business aspect, but what works best in my experience, is the kingdom aspect.
Meaning, some people try to guilt or pressure people into giving (i.e the "you are robbing me" verse that 90% of offering messages begin with). What I have seen is people come on board easier when they can see what's happening with the Gospel. Use other examples and verses in the Bible. It also helps when people see goals and progress. When people feel a part of something bigger, they are more likely to want to be a part of it.
What also helps is personal testimony. If God has worked supernaturally and/or favorably through your money, share it. It inspires people that it does work.
Remember, God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. He pulls most of us outsider our comfort zone because He usually has more confidence in us than we do ourselves.
IMHO, good leadership is willing to move people into positions that fit their skill and personality, usually before people are willing to admit they are not qualified for their present position. The fact that this desire for change came from you and not your leaders, and that leadership is challenging you to stick with it even when you're not qualified tells me your leaders are more concerned with getting the job done than with helping people find the ministry God has called them to. I may be wrong. It's one thing to do a ministry that nobody else can do because it must be done, even when you know you're not fully qualified to do it...it's another to do a ministry that God has not called you to and keep the person God has called from doing that ministry and realizing his/her purpose in the church.
At our church, we believe, if God wants us to do something, He is going to provide the people to do it. If God wants us to have three nursery rooms open every service, God will staff them with people who love serving in the nursery...if it's not what God wants, He'll only provide the staff for two rooms. That's not to say that we can't cast the vision and challenge new people to take a step forward and get plugged into ministry for the first time...we don't just sit around waiting for people to fall into our laps. We also believe that every person in our church has been equipped to do something in our church incredibly well. Which means, we're more concerned with helping people find the ministry(s) they were created for than we are coming up with ministries we think we need and then begging people to do them.
Again, just because I hate cleaning toilets doesn't mean I shouldn't be willing if a toilet needs to be cleaned and I'm the only hand available. But, if I'm stuck cleaning toilets for the rest of my life, I'm going to quickly begin hating ministry.
I think you are getting hung up in something that is both more and less than you are making it out to be. On the one hand, offerings are part of worship, everyone expects that. It is a routine part of the worship order. The important part is not as much what you say, but in the giving and offering of resources back to our creator. Live in the moment, think of this as giving of yourself as an offering, and pray from your heart. Repetitions help. Private prayer before the service helps.
Thanks for your input. I consider offering part of our worship and when I pray over the offering it is with a great deal of gratitude of what God has done and is going to do. In that section I also have to do another couple of announcements. It really isn't what I'm doing during that portion but how I'm doing it. But that really isn't the point. It was a more general question about how long you keep trying before you decide it just isn't part of who you are to deliver things the way it is wanted and how long you keep trying to push through the awkwardness and not give up.
If you're not comfortable, then the audience won't be comfortable. If what you do becomes a distraction, then it would be better to have someone else do it, even if temporarily while you train yourself to be a better public speaker. In the end, it shouldn't be about you nor should the leadership make it about you. Whether you're a "soldier" or a "quitter" is not the point. The point is, "Is it helpful to everyone?" If you really think it's not, then I believe your desire to delegate to someone who fits that role more naturally is a good thing.
How much more peace and mutual encouragement there would be in many churches if only more people were like you and would recognize what they were good at and stick to those things while gladly delegating other areas in which they are not gifted! How much more involved would people be if the leadership recognized those giftings and encouraged them to serve to their strengths instead of forcing people to be what they were not created to be!