Expand Your Influence, Ministry

Want to be more influential? Stop giving 100% and serve in your sweet spot


I’m all for pouring your heart and soul into whatever you’re doing.

I say that if you’re going to commit to a project, be “all in.”

We should all certainly fulfill our obligations and commitments as best we can.

BUT…the reality is that many of us get into projects and duties that, done to 100%, would mean that we’re waaay outside of our sweet spot. That’s why

if you want to be more influential, stop giving 100%.

The average person is probably involved in five major projects at any one time.

For me, it would look like this:

1. The “Serving At Central” class at church–I provide the food and hospitality and now also give part of the presentation.

2. Serving as the secretary on the Gilbert Historical Society Board of Directors.

3. Serving as the Assistant Onsite Event Manager for the Global Leadership Summit 2015 (and most likely will again in 2016) hosted in Gilbert, Arizona.

4. Being a contributing author as well as an editor for loveSTRONG Ministries loveNOTES.

5. Co-leading a Life Group of 13 ladies alongside my mom once/week.

At a recent meeting outside of the regular board meetings for the Gilbert Historical Society, my friend mentioned, “You are are busy. Or at least you look it from what I see on Facebook.”

“I do a lot,” I agreed. “In years past, I did a lot and it left me feeling anxious, stressed out and depleted. Now I’m more strategic and I only offer to do what I’m good at and what works for my life. It feels so much better and I’m so much happier.”

Did you catch that?

Now I’m more strategic and I only offer to do what I’m good at and what works for my life.

Let me explain.

With the class at church, I use to be one of the “connectors,” the people who sit with the class attendees to help them discover their gifts, explore ways they might serve and make sure they get connected to the ministry leader where they want to to serve. Besides the day-of, there are follow-up phone calls to both the participants and the church. It was simply too much for me.

Now I just bring in and set up the food, make sure the table is stocked and neat and then clean up afterward. More recently, I also started taking the mic for a portion of the class, too. There’s no follow-up and no extra work. I love serving food and I love speaking and teaching. I’m a happy girl.

I was recently asked to head up a specific team related to the ministry. I said “No. But I’d be happy to read through and edit some of the marketing materials, or sit down with you to brainstorm ideas and strategies for making the class better.” THAT’S my sweet spot and doesn’t interfere with my life.

I’m not saying that serving is easy and that we should only agree to the things we absolutely loooove doing. Serving is hard work and often uncomfortable.

What I’m saying is that serving would be so much more efficient if all of us stuck to our areas of giftedness and stopped stretching so far out of our comfort zones. That’s where people end up procrastinating, making unnecessary mistakes and getting burned out.

Now instead of giving 100% to three teams I’m able to give 75% to eight teams.

That works well for me and, frankly, the team benefits from that!

I once told a women’s ministry that I’d be willing to help them out with events. I got a phone call. “Hey, we saw that you’re willing to help out. We wondered if you could come be a greeter at 7:00am on the day after Thanksgiving for our event.” I told them, “Absolutely not.” I actually admitted that to our Director of Involvement and she laughed. Do you know what I do for that ministry instead? I write devotions for their website. THAT is in my sweet spot.

My vision is to see all women serving in their sweet spot–no more, no less.

I want to see women using their gifts and talents and building upon their strengths.

  • Stop trying to wear all the hats all the time.
  • When you’re serving, have boundaries.
  • Say “no” to extra in-person meetings.
  • Don’t offer to take on more.
  • Ask other people to pitch in.
  • Stop giving 100%.

You know I’m preaching to myself here. 

What are your challenges when it comes to serving? Do you feel burned out from all the extra demands? Do you feel like you’re always giving 110%? Comment or share on the Facebook page.

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About Tabitha Dumas

Seeing women showing UP to their life authentically and confidently--THAT is what excites me. I am a strategist, bringer of the fun, trail blazer and agent of encouragement offering creative and effective strategies to help women elevate their image and expand their influence. I'm also a magazine junkie, dedicated wife, fun-loving mama, bargain shopper and story teller trying to use my powers for good in this crazy world. I love my life!
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