Dave Runyon stopped by our staff meeting on Tuesday to share his experience with aligning his gifts and passion with his primary vocation. Dave lives what he believes and to his point below, changes his life to align with his belief and core conviction. His impact in this city is profound and pervasive and I always come away from time with Dave having learned something.
What I’ve learned to make my life work better.
— If vocation is 40 – 60 hours per week, how can I find something that doesn’t feel like work?
— For whatever you’re doing right now, the odds are this: the demands of your ministry exceed your actual capacity. I bought the lie that increasing my capacity would make it all work. But the other way to do it is to have an honest assessment of the demands. What are you going to take on, what are other people putting on you, what urgent matters are driving you? My inbox and voicemail were driving my schedule and demand. Living like that drifts you out of alignment with your values and calling.
— All the external metrics of my ministry were working – I experienced external success and affirmation. But internally I was living out of alignment with who I was and what I was about.
— Watching a key leader have a public moral failure gave me an out. I could see where my life was heading. I watched what happens when you deal with your internal problems through a secret life. This was a huge struggle because I believed the lie that I was living the dream – and that it was my only opportunity to make a kingdom impact.
— I was a teaching pastor teaching people how to live out the text, but I wasn’t neighboring at all. The pace and demands of ministry interfered with my obedience to Jesus. I had to slow down to love my neighbors.
— Book recommendation: The Power of Full Engagement: Stewarding energy, not time. We grow physically by intentionally stressing muscles, then intentionally resting. What if that is true with how people grow emotionally and mentally?
— Most of us learn how to push the accelerator down more and more, but we don’t naturally understand engagement and disengagement. We artificially manage it with coffee and alcohol – stimulates and depressants.
— Healthy people do not allow other people’s demands to dictate their work. They take a step back and look at: what are the deepest values I hold, what is my key kingdom contribution? Do we live in alignment with the things that we say that we believe? Is our life congruent with our claimed beliefs?
— I am going to have a big picture perspective on my vocation and I’m going to constantly run what I am doing day to day through the big picture values.
— Some only demonstrate the gospel, others only talk about it. The gospel is at its best when it is proclaimed and demonstrated
— I had drifted into a way where the people in my world were all thinking like me. Most of my world was spent with Christians in my church. But when you choose to be in relationship based on proximity, your literal, actual neighbors, you are forced to love and serve people who think differently from you.
— I was bought into the tyranny of not making people mad. People are always going to want more. At the end of the day, if you’re in ministry, no matter how hard you work or try, people are simply not going to like you.
— Some people describe spiritual growth with linear models – like a baseball diamond. But I think the spiritual life looks more like an infinity sign. It is the journey in and then the journey out. Interior life, exterior life: daily, seasonally. Healthy long term spirituality pay attention to the interior and exterior life.