Andy Stanley: DO FOR ONE – Catalyst 2011

Be Present.

The more successful you are, the less accessible you’ll become. This is not good or bad, it’s just true. The more people become part of what you’re doing, the less available to everyone you’ll end up.

But we think, ‘I don’t want that. My door will be wide open…’

But if we refuse this truth, the more you’ll burn out by trying to be accessible to everyone. You’ll do life spreading yourself razor thin, not accessible to those you’re with really anyway. Distracted. The hard thing is, we come into ministry because we’re all about people.

OR we may use our success as an excuse to be more inaccessible than necessary. People will come up in your own church and say, ‘I know you’re busy, but…’ You’ll hide form them.

Unawareness is bliss!

Because the more people’s needs and problems you’re aware of, the more you’ll know there’s no 15 minute solutions. That will wear you out. The more need we’re bombarded with, the less able to handle it we feel. So much cancer, so much debts and prodigals. Your heart breaks for people, but you’re thinking, ‘But what can I do?’ Too much Information!

But at the same time, I want to be PRESENT.

The apostle Paul addresses this in Gal 6:9-10.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

NOTICE – As we have OPPORTUNITY (time), let us do good to all people…

He goes on to say.. Carry each other’s burdens., and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ…

in other words, You can’t shut it all out

– BUT ….


you can’t take it all on.

This never goes away. We live with the tension – limited time and opportunity, but open to people, engaged with the.

So how? What do you do?

Do FOR ONE, what you wish you could do for EVERYONE.

The person behind the sweet counter says, ‘If I give you one, I’ll have to give everyone one…’

Actually, NO YOU DON”T! I won’t tell anyone…!

This can creep into our ministry…

If I counsel you, I’ll have to do it for everyone


Choose to do for one, what you wish you could do for everyone. That will stop you getting cold to everyone. If you’re helping ONE through grief, or marriage issues.

But that’s not fair!

Well, fairness ended in the garden of Eden.

Don’t be fair. Don’t try to be. Be engaged.



  1. Go DEEP rather than WIDE.

Be available to someone.

2. Go LONG term rather than short term.

Don’t give everyone 15 mins and not give someone many hours. Take one or two and be in them with it – until it’s over.

3. Go TIME not just money.

Don’t just give money to missions- go to one. Track the miracle in the lives in that place.

Don’t let anyone guilt you out of doing for one what you wish you could do for all, because if we all did that – we might change the world, but even if you don’t, you’ll change one life – and it might be yours.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the one who did for us what they didn’t have the time or resources to do for everyone. It wasn’t fair, but we received your grace through them.