I’ve blogged recently about margin, but want to expand that thought.
Margin is all about making space in your life. It’s overcoming the hyper-busy, hyper-extended life that I naturally drift (as do so many of us). It’s about doing less for more, creating margin in our time, our finances and much more. Andy Stanley is like a dog on a bone about margin, and last week he let something slip in passing that stuck with me because it resonated so deeply.
This is what he said: "I am at my most selfish when I have the least margin, and I am at my most generous when I have the most margin in my life." Bingo. That nailed it for me.
Connexus has been programmed around margin. We just don’t do much except Sunday worship, groups, and great family ministry. I love leading that church. I have more time for relationships. More time to interact with lots of people who don’t go to church. Just more time. Period.
Last night I was hanging around the house with NOTHING on the agenda. A Connexus staffer dropped by with her kids, and we chatted in the back yard for about an hour watching the kids bounce on the trampoline. She’s been on our team for almost five years, and I said to her – Three years ago, I couldn’t have done this. I didn’t have the margin in my life that I have now to just sit down for an hour and shoot the breeze.
Thinking back, I always wanted to be generous in previous years, but
running at 600 miles an hour with my hair on fire meant every
conversation was rushed, every interruption seemed like an imposition,
and every demand seemed burdensome.
The less I do, the more time I have for others, and the more effective I become at what I do. I love being home at night (most nights now) and letting life "happen" rather than having to schedule family moments. I am way more generous toward my family, toward my friends, toward life.
Even financially, when we have no margin, we tend to be less generous. Margin creates the conditions for real generosity.
On April 27th and May 4th here at Connexus, my friend Rich Birch just gave a couple of great messages about margin in his dejunkification series. Check them out. I think they might help us all think through this stuff.
In the meantime, what do you think — are you at your most selfish when you have the least margin?