Overnight success is rare. To achieve real success, you have to pay your dues. By “Paying your dues” I mean earning respect because you have worked hard and been present over a long period. Consider the importance of paying your dues in the following areas:
In Your Church
You can’t make all of those changes you would like to in your new church pastorate. You will likely need to spend years building relationships, learning culture, and serving people. Unless you planted the church, Your church has a culture that existed long before you got there. Trying to change much of anything without first putting in your time will bring you pain.
In Your Neighborhood/Community
You can’t move to a new community and expect to be accepted overnight. In fact, it might take years for you to be accepted. You have to pay your dues, and that takes time. Be a learner. Serve people. Be kind. Ask questions. Be patient. Relationships will come over time.
In Your Career
You can’t change careers and start at your current level of pay, responsibility, and respect. In fact, you might even have to start over. You have to pay your dues, and that will likely take years. Show up. Be present. Work Hard. Put in the time.
You can’t have deep friendships in a year or two. Friendships take years to build. Don’t let this discourage you. Start with where you are and begin to invest in relationships.
In today’s society, few people will care what you believe when you haven’t taken substantial time to know them, invest in them, and spend time with them. Take the long view and be a presence over time.
Pay your dues. Put in the time. Take a long view. In your work. In your neighborhood. In Leadership.
Please add to this list! Where else is it necessary to pay your dues? Comment and continue the conversation.