“You don’t have to get all the ducks to have a good hunt.
It’s obvious to anyone who ever spent a day crouched in a duck blind: You don’t have to get all the ducks to have a good hunt. A returning hunter focuses on what they bagged, not what they missed. A good duck hunter might miss dozens of ducks and still bag “the limit.” Duck hunters who focus too much on those missed won’t last long in the sport. With just one shotgun, and scores of ducks flying, you are bound to miss plenty even when you’ve had a great day. Leaders have to be careful of focusing on “missed ducks.” No leader gets all the ducks. Neither do golfers, or quarterbacks, or ministers.
Some pastors come home from church every Sunday and start that depressing game of tallying who was missing with their spouse. They are focusing on “missed ducks.” Brooding about people who didn’t show up, who missed the announcement, didn’t pledge to the capital campaign, or didn’t vote for renewing your pastoral call are missed ducks.
Leaders focus on the ducks they bag, not those missed. Jesus was such a leader. He missed the rich young ruler. He missed most of the people in Nazareth. Even after being with him three years he missed keeping Judas. In fact Jesus once saw more than 5,000 people abandon him in one service—missed ducks. But Jesus focused on those he kept. And He built a church which was unconquerable by the gates of Hell with the ducks He bagged. He even told a story to correct the perspective of people too concerned about the ducks they were missing—it was about a sower and seeds and different kinds of soil. Different story, same truth.
(copyright 2012, Keith Drury, www.drurywriting.com/keith)
Keith Drury served The Wesleyan Church headquarters in Christian Education and Youth leadership for 24 years before becoming a professor of religion at Indiana Wesleyan University. He is the author of more than a dozen books of practical spirituality, including Holiness for Ordinary People, Common Ground and Ageless Faith. Keith Drury wrote the Tuesday Column for 17 years (1995-2012), and many articles can be found on his blog “Drury Writing.”
Keith Drury retired from full time teaching in 2012. Keith is married to Sharon and has two adult sons and several grandchildren. He is retired in Florida with Sharon and enjoys cycling.