I love this sentiment: “Be content, not satisfied.”
I can’t remember when I first heard it. It sounds like something John Maxwell would say, but I’m not sure. It’s certainly not a new idea. But for many leaders, mastering the power of this statement is novel and can provide new innovations and invigorate change.
At Woodstock City Church where I lead, we are constantly fighting to remain content, but not satisfied. Content because we are partnering with God and his church. Unsatisfied because the mission of God’s church is too big to every feel like it is complete. We take this so seriously around our church that we even labeled it “Make it Better,” one of our six core staff behaviors. “Make it Better” means never fall prey to believing we have arrived.
You know that in an ever-evolving culture, we can never stop evolving our approach, our model, or our strategies. As my friend and boss (Andy Stanley) likes to say, “We must be married to our mission, not our model.”
As a leader, the first question you need to ask yourself is “Am I content?” Discontent leaders are often disasters. Discontentment typically leads to poor leadership behaviors and lack of valuing people over products. But dissatisfied — well that’s a good thing.
The second question, “With what are you unsatisfied?” Is where I am living as a leader right now.
Here’s my current list of “content, but not satisfied:”
- Decreasing attendance patterns from regular attendees.
- Mission engagement.
- Lack of enthusiasm from our 4th and 5th grade attenders compared to their elementary peers.
- Disengagement from high school students as they progress in our church.
- Finding optimal ways to make non-optimal service times more optimal.
- We should baptize more people.
- Increasing generosity.
- Engaging new guest more quickly.
- Volunteer recruitment and retention.
- Increasing our staff’s voice to make everything better.
I don’t know how many of these we can solve at Woodstock City Church, but I’m grateful that we aren’t satisfied with where we are?
What about you?