No, you didn’t misread this and no, I didn’t misspell it.  We often refer to the “terrible twos” of children who give their parents a difficult time.

There is another kind of “terrible toos” that leaders often encounter as they attempt to build teams of volunteers (and paid staff) to help them execute a God-given vision. 

At one of my leadership seminars I had a conversation with one of the pastors and he was lamenting the difficulty of finding people to step up, get in the game, and use their God-given gifts.

He’s often heard the “Terrible Toos” litany:

  • I’m too tired
  • I’m too busy
  • I’m too old
  • I’m too young
  • I’m too afraid
  • I’m too inexperienced
  • I’m too biblically illiterate
  • I’m too lazy (you won’t hear anybody actually say this, but it belongs on the list!)

Perhaps you can add a few, from personal experience.

Excuses, excuses, excuses. But, maybe there is really just one “Too”:

I am too uncommitted to what’s on God’s heart. 

Every Christian is ordained to the ministry of advancing the gospel and making disciples. We are all in full time service for Jesus. We should want to serve in the church and in the world in light of God’s love and sacrifice for us.

Paul says it well in 2 Corinthians 5:14 (ESV): “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake, died and was raised.”

God loves to take ordinary people and do extraordinary things.  He can multiply our meager supply of loaves and fishes and accomplish the unexpected and/or the impossible. He is not hindered by health, experience or age issues.  As for being tired, exhausted or perhaps not being in the best of health, Lorne Sanny, President of The Navigators for 30 years used to say, “Most of the real work in the world is accomplished by people who are tired and don’t feel well.”

Isaiah 6:8: “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I, send me’ ” (ESV). But some of us use a translation that says: Here am I, send him/her, but not me because I amtoo….

Is it time to honestly and courageously address the “Terrible Toos” in your ministry context and talk about the grace and power of God to overcome the excuses and feelings of inadequacy?