Living into Your SWEET SPOT

Sweet-Spot

I could not pass this picture up… for several reasons:

First…. the player depicted in the picture is wearing my number in college when I played baseball for Point Loma College in San Diego. Number #29 always catches my eye!

Second… I’ve got baseball on my mind as Dodger BLUE (God’s team and color) gear up for a run at the post-season and winning the ring. Go LA!

Third… The picture above is illustrating the concept of the “SWEET SPOT” of a bat. The key to hitting a baseball (like other sports) is hitting the ball in the SWEET SPOT. The SWEET SPOT is that small portion of the bat, not quite at the end, but not too high up, where if you hit it there, the ball just goes.

SWEET SPOT also represents one of most embarrassing moments in my sports career.

It is a common “misnomer” in baseball, that “pitchers can’t hit.” I was a pitcher, and I could hit. In fact in High School I was named Second Team All League in my senior year, both for my hitting average and my pitching.

One day I came up to bat and hit the ball really well. I actually did not see where it went.

I took off for first base, and was told by the first base coach to keep running to second base. As I approached second base, I saw that the second baseman acting like a throw was coming in from the outfield. This produced an automatic reflex within me to slide. As I did, all I could hear was laughter coming from the fans and my own dugout.

What I did not realize was that my ball had actually cleared the fence for a home run (something that had never occurred before). I had actually slid in at second base when I should have been in my home run trot around the bases. One of my greatest achievement had also become one of most embarrassing moments in life. How did it happen? I had hit the ball in the SWEET SPOT of the bat.

All Christ-followers have a SWEET SPOT. It relates to the “good deeds” which God has designed them to do before time began (Eph. 2:10).

The SWEET SPOT is when it all comes together. When who you are, what you do, and how God has gifted you to influence make their greatest impact, together. Some would call it your “strengths,” others your “natural abilities.” But another way to look at SWEET SPOT” is the intersection of your NATURAL ABILITIES, ACQUIRED SKILLS, and SPIRITUAL GIFTS. When those three come together and intersect; the sweet spot.

It is that moment when God uses you in a unique way, and its effort-less. It’s that moment when you “feel his pleasure” and you know it is Him at work, and not you. It’s about you being you; your greatest act of worship.

Know Yours? Ask others to help you identify your SWEET SPOT… they know! They have watched you being used by God. It will often be the moment when you thought you were doing something that everyone can do.

What would it look like if you were able to live and minister out of your sweet spot more often? Wonder what might be the result? For You? For others? For the Kingdom?

Love to hear your thoughts!

7 thoughts on “Living into Your SWEET SPOT

  1. Pingback: Your PASSION Could be Pointing to Your DESTINY. | Leader Breakthru / Terry Walling

  2. Terry, I have been reading Mike Breen’s “Multiplying Missional Leaders” and have been intrigued by his argument that missional leaders need to do more than just serve in our areas of greatest giftedness. He says, and I quote, “Each of us have a base ministry that represents one of the fivefold ministries in Ephesians (apostle, prophet, teacher, evangelist, pastor). We believe that God gives each of us this ministry and it is ours for life. Hence, we call this our “base ministry.” But there are also particular periods when God leads us to discover and understand the other ministries for a brief time. This is what we call our “phase ministries … “Your base ministry will be the one that refreshes you, the one you are most passionate about. The Lord, however, will mature you by taking you through each of the other ministries in phases.” Breen argues that we undergo maturation of character and a rounding out of our ministry when we learn ministries not in our areas of strength. So should we always aim to be in the sweet spot? I tend to think that Breen is right in that we need to go through phases of working out of our areas of weakness because God can teach us more about dependence and strength through weakness in those places.

    • Hey Ken! Thanks for responding!
      Yep! Agreed. We are given various assignments in route to discovering our unique contribution. Each fills in different aspects of the “good works” of Eph. 2:10. And… sometimes we are called on my God to roll up our sleves and just serve. All of these, shape and form both our hearts and our hands, to worship God with our lives. That is also why… Sweet Spot does not really come fully into focus until the “second-half” of life and ministry. God moves us calling to contribution usually somewhere in the 40s to 50s. Thanks for the comment! I like Mike’s work.

      • Terry, I am glad we are in agreement on that. Agree that second-half is where the sweet spot really becomes evident. Now have you ever heard anyone else identify the 5 ministries in Eph 4 as 5 different ways of leading and that each of us should be able to identify one of these as our primary base ministry? I am not so sure about that, but it is an intriguing idea. You have to read his description of each base ministry to understand how they are differentiated.

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