By Janet McMahon
(From our series “The Best or Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received.”)
Some of the best advice I ever received was from my friend, mentor, and then boss, Jon Ferguson, one of the founding pastors of Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois. As one of the kids’ ministry directors, I remember complaining to Jon that there was not enough time in the day to do all the urgent things that needed to be done. I never had enough time to strategically plan, pray, and think about the future of the ministry I was entrusted with. (Sigh . . . poor me. Like no one had ever faced these problems before.)
Jon, in his gracious, wise way, just listened for a long time, probably longer then he should have, giving me more grace and patience than I deserved. And then he said, “Janet, there is always going to be something that calls for your immediate attention, but you are the only one who can decide what actually gets your attention.” John was teaching me the principal of the “tyranny of the urgent.” Some “urgent” thing would always be challenging me to ignore the important. Jon taught me that urgent and important are not always the same thing.
Thanks, Jon. Your discipleship and investment in my leadership development changed the trajectory of my life.
Janet McMahon serves as community life director with Restore Community Church, Kansas City, Missouri.