Looking forward not back

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As I write this, I’m coming to the end of my first 100 days as lead pastor for the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference. When I started in the role, the South Pacific Division Leadership and Development manager recommended a book: The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins. The book’s opening paragraph intrigued me: “The president of the United States gets 100 days to prove himself; you get 90. The actions you take during your first few months in a new role will largely determine whether you succeed or fail.”

So here I am. Last Sabbath was 90 days. My future has been decided!

One of the important concepts I learnt from this book is the idea of throwing out the rear-view mirror.

Watkins says, “You believe you will be successful in the new role by doing the same things you did in your previous role, only more so . . . Perhaps the biggest pitfall you face is assuming that what has made you successful to this point will continue to do so . . . Let go of the past and embrace the imperatives of the new situation.”

As much as I miss and loved serving with the North NZ team, I have used this principle and “stayed away”. To my surprise it has been good for me. It has helped me to focus on my new context, realise some of the new skills I need to develop and some of the old that I need to relearn or discard.

How about you? Where in your ministry, work, family or personal growth do you need to stop looking in the rear-view mirror? The Message paraphrase of Hebrews 12:2 says it like this, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed.”

God bless you as you take the principles you have learnt in life to learn new ways of applying those lessons in our rapidly changing world.

Eddie Tupa’i is lead pastor (president) of the New Zealand Pacific Union Mission.

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