Although some business skills don’t translate well into personal relationships, one that does is a leadership principle: defining what is “out of scope”.
In business, when visions become realities, a group first defines the “scope” of the project, identifying key elements such as project requirements, who will be on the team and their roles, how resources will be allocated, what outcome is to be achieved, and what success looks like. Projects are expected to meet strict deadlines with resource constraints so it is important to define what is “in scope” (will be managed by the group) and “out of scope” (what is off the table and will not be addressed by the group).
A recent conversation with another business leader has convinced me that defining what is “out of scope” in your personal life is valuable, too. It prevents you from getting overwhelmed, getting too tired from taking on too much, and being distracted from the work that God has called you to do.
Defining your “scope” starts with knowing your spiritual gifts and then asking God’s guidance in using them. Most lists of spiritual gifts include: serving, teaching, exhortation, leadership, mercy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, apostleship, prophet, evangelism, administration, giving, helping, leadership, hospitality, intercession, and pastor. No one is blessed with all spiritual gifts, but as a child of God, everyone has at least one! I’ve participated in a church workshop on spiritual gifts and it helped me to recognize my gifts of healing, evangelism, giving, exhortation and wisdom. God gives you the gifts and resources you need to do His work, but the activities should be in alignment with God’s “scope” for you.
The next time you are asked to head up a new church committee, intercede between two feuding family members, chair a community fundraiser, or even balance the family checkbook, the question you should ask is: “Do I have the spiritual gifts required, and is this what God has asked me to do?”
Saying “NO” to others’ requests isn’t self-centered; instead it frees up our time and our talents to say “YES” when God does the asking!
Are there activities in your personal relationships that really are “Out of Scope?”
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Blessings, my friend,