Ministry Momentum Unplugged

photo by: www.sju.edu
photo by: http://www.sju.edu

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?

 

 

 

 

 

3 steps to remaining focused in 2013

One source I came across reported these statistics related to keeping New Year’s resolutions.

75% of us last beyond the first week…..ouch!

64% beyond 1 month.

46% last past 6 months!

photo from: 123rf.com
photo from: 123rf.com

This is a continuation from a recent post.  So you say you are going to make great changes in the coming year?  That’s great…I celebrate that with you.  I’m in the same boat.  Now, we all know that starting is half the battle, right?  What I’ve been wrestling with over the past few days is the fear of losing my drive, my inspiration, my focus.  Just look at those numbers above again.

Here’s my plan in 3 steps:

1.  PRAY:  My One Word for the year is STRIVE.  That said, I am going to wake up each day and pray, “Lord, what would you have me STRIVE in today?  Give me the energy and positive attitude to become TODAY the leader you intend me to be.”

2.  PARTNER:  This is the clincher.  Ask a close friend, spouse, or mentor to hold you accountable.  Additionally, it really helps if this person clearly exhibits their own ability to lead themselves well.  Now, this takes a lot of humility and authenticity.  And if we want it to work, we absolutely must be honest with them!

3.  EVALUATE:  Get your Google Calendar, iCal, or old school spiral planner and schedule dates throughout the year to seriously sit down and check on how you’re doing.  Recognize and celebrate the areas you’ve grown in, and re-engage those things you have gotten distracted from.

You can do this!

Just accept the fact that you will sometimes fail.  That’s ok.  If we didn’t ever fail we wouldn’t have any need for Jesus!

Isaiah 40:29 tells us that, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”

So, give your weakness and struggles as a leader, husband, and father to God…and He will fill in the void the way only He can!