What if I Don’t Want To?

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.

Ezekiel 33:6

You know that part of the job you don’t like to do? Everyone has that one task that drags on them. The one that you avoid, postpone, procrastinate on doing is usually the one that isn’t quite as fun. And yet, necessary.

Nonprofit work is fun. There’s an element of creativity, innovation, and passion which adds up to bringing new ways of serving. The mission is in sight—if only it weren’t for that one task standing in your way!

There are certainly parts of nonprofit work that aren’t as fun. The paperwork and reports, the failed events and lack of funds, the clients that won’t apply themselves and the volunteers who don’t show. The things that can’t be delegated to someone with that strength, or isn’t available, or it’s just flat out your responsibility. These parts are necessary, but not fun.

Some nonprofit leaders shy away from the hard or the parts that make them uncomfortable. They hem and haw, procrastinate, whine. As leaders, though, they should set the tempo for holding the ground and pushing through those necessary tasks. Sooner or later, leaders are held to account. In other words, accountability counts.

God holds people accountable. In my Bible, I wrote next to today’s verse, “I am not responsible for their reaction, but to obey what God asks of me.” This verse reminds me of another that motivates me to stay accountable in the same chapter: “Yet, O house of Israel, you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to his own ways” (Ezekiel 33:20). If God holds us accountable to do as He asks, we should also hold ourselves and our employees accountable, too.

How do you hold someone accountable? Try these:

  • Set a deadline. If you or the other person miss it, get curious and ask why. A lack of motivation doesn’t count.
  • Set an award. Find what brings a little joy and save it for after the hard task.
  • Set the intention. Realize (together) why this is a need, and communicate it in a way that will resonate. This can’t be done without knowing you or a person better. Understand why this task is a road blocker and help the person to see the importance of what is before them (or you).
  • Set the stage by asking questions. Learn how much of a need this is, and how much of it is something that would be nice to have and can move to stage left. Your expectation may not be met, but it may not need to be met.
  • Set your eyes on the horizon. Look at your mission and see how this piece fits into the grander vision. A shifting of perspective can motivate to stay accountable.
  • Set the outcome. Establish what success looks like. Low hanging fruit is easier to pluck, so consider what is the next success if it is a larger task or project.

Perhaps these quick ideas are ones you can apply when there’s something you will be held accountable to, but isn’t your favorite thing to do. In the end, fun or not, nonprofit work is valuable to your community. Your work is valuable. Staying accountable gets you one step closer to the mission that can change the world.

What do you do to stay accountable and motivated? Share your tip on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

If organizing your organization is what is that unlovely task that is holding you back from productivity, join me for a FREE webinar on Thursday, June 3 at 5:30 pm Pacific Time. Register here.

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

Couch Castles

“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 1:19-20

The two sat with their noses inches from each other. The younger boy’s hair looked like he just came out from under the couch, which he had. The two were inches from erupting into another argument on how their castle of couch cushions should be built. And with the baby down for a nap, it was time to put an end to their stare-down tactics before war erupted and their pretend swords became real swords.

The following day, when naptime came about, the mother wiped down the ketchup glob and said, “You may not build a castle today, find another quiet game to play until Aubrey wakes up.” Both the four-year old and the three-year old pouted with the best of the best pouters. A sigh. “If you play nicely and build a castle together, then you may play in the living room. If you start to argue, then playtime is over for today.  Your sister needs to sleep well.”

The sister immediately latched on to this concept. Without hesitation, she turned to the brother and said, “See? Mom said you have to obey what I say. We build the fort my way.”

Couch Castles (2011)

Photo by Kevin Li on Unsplash

Isaiah is a book that sometimes seems harsh and unloving. However, each warning comes with a firm reason as to why the consequences. God doesn’t lay down the law and call it a day. He explains what are results of doing the right thing and doing the wrong thing. Listening and willfully obeying causes blessing. Rebellion causes swords.

In the story, Mom was sure to explain why arguing would end playtime—Sister needed sleep. Building a fort without arguing would allow future monstrosities in the living room to develop. It’s for the children’s sake that the rules are laid down.

However, I find myself with the same reaction as the elder sister. I take what God has asked and force it into my own ruling. I like to be in control. If there is a blessing, I will rake it’s full worth. I’m not obedient because I want to willingly do God’s desires. I am obedient because I want the blessings; it is my way or no way. My motivation is not willful praise, but of selfishness.

God doesn’t bless me for good works. He blesses loving motivation. He doesn’t want me to obey and then control the blessing so that I get what I want. He wants to bless me because I do things with the proper inspiration. If I choose to do an action for the wrong reason, then the consequences will be dire. The arguing will start, and rebellion leads to the sword.

What acts of obedience is he asking of you? Will you do it willingly, or begrudgingly? Will you tell others to do it for you, or to obey what you want? Take today to focus on what God has for you, and then do it for his sake out of love.

© 2011, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.