Our high school program was failing. A year before attendance and energy had been soaring through the roof and now the crickets barely made a sound. I had made some recent changes to the format because what we were doing felt too much like entertainment. Needless to say I received push back, people criticized and left. I felt like a failure.
My pastor and associate to the pastor talked to me about the situation and reassured me not to worry about my job. However, they suggested that I look at making some changes to the way that we did ministry. In the end we made some pretty bold moves including switching up the nights. Today the program is growing deeper and wider.
Anytime you face a problem in ministry you have two choices. You can LEAN IN or DENY IT. It doesn’t take a rocket science to know the only way you are going to solve your problems is by facing them. And to do that you need to:
- Throw Everything On The Table: When you problem solve all suggestions and ideas need to be thrown onto the table. Sometimes an idea needs time to mature and evolve. If something doesn’t hit you right at first, take the time to sit back and ask, “What if?” After all ideas have been exhausted start whittling down the list.
- Share The Burden: It’s easy to buy that lie, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” All that does is limit your capacity to solve a problem. Invite your leaders to brainstorm and offer their resources. If anything invite others to pray and share the burden.
- Face The Failure: Solving a problem means taking a risk; however, the consequences are far less than if you do nothing. Granted you might fail; however, by taking an attempt you fail forward. You’ll learn from your mistakes, and will be able to tackle it from a new perspective.
- Involve God Into The Process: Not sure why it’s easy to ignore God; however, if you don’t include Him into your problems you’ll find yourself exhausted and frustrated. When the solution isn’t in front of you, it’s important to take the time to fast, give or just sit quietly and listen. Allow God to work through you inorder to guide you towards the solution.
Whether it’s shaking things up or approaching a new season of ministry tackle your problems head on with a plan. Ministry is relational and organic; therefore, it’s going to get messy. Do not fear it, lean into it, share the journey with others and trust God to lead you.
How do you approach problems? Would you add anything to the list?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)