Six non-negotiables to being the most effective in ministry

6 Non-Negotiables Too Being The Most Effective In Ministry

There is nothing more frustrating to me than to have meetings just for the sake of having meetings.  Too often we meet just because we always meet, regardless of an agenda or a lack of one.  It’s times like these, that I sit there enduring a conversation that has nothing to do with me, that I reflect,  “That I could be doing something of significant value if it was not for this meeting.”   That can also be said of all of ministry life.  We can spend a tremendous amount of time not being as effective as we should or could be, if we just had some guidelines on doing the things that really make an eternal difference.    What then are some non-negotiables that we must know  when it comes to setting our priorities of work.

1. Know God’s will – I am reminded of the times I have worked really hard at doing things that really didn’t need to be done.  Now and then I have set my own agenda without finding out the big picture first, and how my part fits in.   Doing my agenda, instead of following God’s plans and will, not only ends up being very frustrating for me, but actually may hold back the organization from moving forward with God’s blessing.  Only by spending time with God through His Word, and prayer, can I make sure that what I am doing is in the centre of His will and most effective to the ministry.  “Seek ye First the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you”

2. Know that Growth takes time – I wonder how many wonderful plans have been dropped just short of victory because of not understanding this principal.  No farmer ever planted seed one day and then went back the next to find a harvest.  II Tim., tells us that it is the hard working farmer who reaps the reward.  We live in an instant world where we expect to get what we want immediately but the truth is ministry just does not work that way.  Our goal is to reach people and see them grow and that doesn’t happen overnight.  A longer view over time helps us to see that God is at work bringing about His result.  Looking at ministry just on a daily basis doesn’t always help us to see if we are being the most effective we can be.  Learn to look at ministry over time and look for growth indicators that bring encouragement.

3. Know what a win looks like – If we don’t understand this principal, we may end up exerting a lot of energy on something that has already happened.  Instead of winning the same battles over and over again, celebrate the win and move on to something else that needs your attention and brings about the greatest reward.  Victories need to be recognized and celebrated in the organization.  No one wants to be a part of something that is dead in the water.   Everyone wants to be a part of a ministry that is making headway.  It is up to the leader to understand the wins and make sure they are celebrated with the team.  Effective leaders celebrate together.

4. Know when to quit – Obviously, this seems to stand in direct contrast to the last two points, but sometimes the best thing you can do is, just let it go and move on.   Not every issue is worth dying on a hill for.  We sometimes make mountains out of minor issues that end up using a lot of our time and energy and actually hurt the organization.  Good leaders ask themselves, “By me holding on to this issue or plan, am I holding the organization back instead of moving it forward?”  How quickly pride can set in and blur our vision, especially if it was our idea to go down a certain path to begin with.   Good leaders know when to move on to be the most effective.

5. Know that effective ministry takes hard work -There ought to be a sign over every Seminary and Bible School that says, “Lazy people don’t apply.”   It is not long into ministry that you find out effective ministry requires hard work, dedication and full commitment.    You just don’t fall into being successful.  It takes effort!  Now with that said, I want to make it clear that ministry must be done in balance with home life.  To do what appears to be successful ministry and have a horrible relationship with your spouse and children, is not God honouring or in His will.  It is not possible to be successful in ministry and leave you family behind.  On the other hand,  to think that good ministry just happens without hard work,  is a formula for ruin.  Being the most effective requires hard work.  The difference between successful people and those who are not, is that successful people, do what they don’t want to do and that takes hard work.

6. Know who gets the glory – “If you can’t make it here you can’t make it anywhere.”  Many ministry leaders do effective ministry and then blow it all by allowing pride to come in, not to mention the lives that are destroyed in the process.   By not carefully recognizing that it is God who gives the victory and that,   “Every good gift comes down from the Father of lights” is a mistake that many leaders wish they had remembered after it is too late.   It is God who makes us victorious and effective.  Nothing of any eternal value is done apart from Him.  God deserves and gets the Glory and the wise leaders understand this very well.  Godly leaders give the glory to the One who deserves it all.

Want to be more effective?  Know God’s will, Know that Growth takes time, Know what a win looks like, Know when to quit, know that effective ministry takes hard work and Know that God will not share His glory with anyone, even you!!!


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