I’m Doing a Great Work and Can’t Come Down…

July 13, 2011


By Stephen Grcevich, MD

One of the most difficult challenges we face as leaders in the special needs ministry arena is learning when to say no.

I think it’s fair to say that most of the people reading this blog like the experience of doing for others. I know I do. I’d like to think that’s the person God’s transforming me to be. But I also know that many of the decisions I make in how I allocate my time are made for the wrong reasons. BTW…this is an important reason why many physicians have staff people who zealously guard their accessibility.

Sometimes, I say yes to things because I’m avoiding the experience of having to disappoint other people. Sometimes I say yes to things out of a sense of pride…because I don’t really believe that God could use some other physician or ministry organization to do something as well as I could or as well as our Key Ministry team could. Sometimes I say yes to things out of fear…fear that if I say no, an important opportunity will be lost or that I’ll lose the ability to influence a situation that’s important to me. Sometimes I say yes to things because I really haven’t let go of my need to be in control and given those situations over to God.

Letting go of stuff to focus on those things that are most important is so difficult. I almost never feel like I’m at the end of my “to-do” list. I had a discussion yesterday with a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic who strongly advised me of the need to make some significant lifestyle changes. As I’m writing this post (in response to a commitment I made), I’m keenly aware that it’s been close to a week since I picked up my Bible. I had a reminder of the need to reassess my priorities from a physician colleague yesterday. But all of us face the constant challenge of keeping our priorities in the proper order.

Jesus was never “finished” healing people or teaching of the Good News of God’s Kingdom. At the end of the day, there were people in every town he visited who were still sick or poor or hungry. But Jesus always managed to set aside time for his relationship with his Father. And Jesus never lost sight of his primary mission.

We all need to prioritize our relationships with God, our spouses and our kids, in that order. But beyond that, we need to consider what God has uniquely positioned each of us to do through our respective ministries and to allow others to share in everything else.

I was reading Barb Dittrich’s post from yesterday and reminded of the fact that God has put a lot of good people on this mountain with us. We’re all called to bear one another’s burdens. At our team meeting this morning, we’re going to be discussing how we can involve more people in the work that God has given us.

My wife is an extremely accomplished community volunteer. She currently serves as Board President of the regional chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, sits on the Community Advisory Board for our local schools and is a children’s ministry greeter for our church. She’s very good at organizing and completing tasks…a nice compliment to my ADHD traits. But because she’s so good at getting things done, she gets asked to do lots of stuff. Sometimes, our family will be sitting down at dinner and someone in the family (usually my wife) will be discussing a commitment someone wants us to make. Either myself or one of our kids will chirp in with the reference to Nehemiah 6:3 that serves as the title of today’s post. “I’m doing a great work and cannot come down” is slang in the Grcevich house for “You really should let someone else take on this responsibility.”

God has given each of us a great work to accomplish. For Nehemiah, it was reestablishing the residence of God’s chosen people in Jerusalem and rebuilding the wall around the city. How are you doing at staying focused on the unique tasks that God has put before you and letting others do everything else?

In addition to his role with Key Ministry, Dr. Grcevich is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Senior Clinical Instructor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and serves as President of Family Center by the Falls, a multidisciplinary behavioral health group practice located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Check out his Key Ministry blog, Church4EveryChild.

Featured photo courtesy of www.jerusalemshots.com

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About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.

View all posts by Dr. G


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2 Comments on “I’m Doing a Great Work and Can’t Come Down…”

  1. Joyce Weatherford Says:

    Wow, it seems, as I sit here at 3:41am, that perhaps I really need to take this post to heart and examine my commitments and my lack of ability to say no. This morning I have to leave early for church because I said yes to the pastor, on his way out of town, to print, copy, and have the bulletins ready for Sunday morning. I didn’t take into account that I was taking care of a friends 27-year old daughter because she was leaving town for a funeral but wanted her daughter to be able to go to camp. Yes, my husband and I are taking the girl to camp, but only about 45-minutes from our house and after church and my Discipleship class. I am trying to delegate more of the responsibilities of the ministry, but the disability ministry is new in our church and my family are the ones who brought the ministry. So thanks for your post and reminder that we all have to say no to things and focus on the thing or things God has asked us to do excellent. I think in leadership we all have a hard time with “we can’t be all things to all people all the time”, would that we could.

    JOY in CHRIST,



  1. Sink or Swim? « Special Needs Ministry - July 19, 2011

    […] about the issue of maintaining balance…please be sure to read Steve Grcevich’s post here and Shannon Dingle’s post here. They offer great wisdom and insight, and will encourage you […]

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