Have you ever been exercising on a treadmill or elliptical machine when out of nowhere….it shuts off? This is the worst, especially when you’re in the middle of your routine! It throws your momentum off.
This happened to me this week. There was a severe thunder storm and it knocked out the power to the whole building. Everything shut down……well, except for 3 treadmills. The individuals on those machines simply continued with their workout as if nothing had happened. It was very peculiar to me. (I knew I would have to blog about this)
Since the first week of January, I have really been Striving for major improvements in my self-leadership. Improving my physical fitness is one of those areas. Now, when my treadmill died I was instantly frustrated and grabbed my things to go home. Most everyone else did the same. Within about 6-7 minutes, however, the power came back on. By this time I was already at the front door……so I left!
The more I pondered this scene, the more I began to realize how it resembled seasons of momentum in ministry. For many of us, there can be this odd inkling to ‘rest our efforts’ in Kingdom work when we begin to sense God’s hand ‘unplugging.’ There is an excitement and energy when we can see God doing obvious work in our churches, but we tend to get really bummed when that ministry ‘treadmill’ loses its power.
Back to those 3 individuals who continued working when everyone else got frustrated. They gained health benefits the rest of us gave up! Not because they still had power, but because they stuck it out. If I had simply waited it out a few minutes, I would not have forfeited my health benefits. The same is often true of ministry. When we hit times of financial hardship, staff conflict, leadership transitions, etc…..we need to stick it out and push through. Trust that God is still working even if it appears that no progress is being made.
When you approach the next ‘power outage’ in your ministry, how do plan to react? How will you lead in that moment?