One Principle That Will Save Your Ministry

This week, I’ve asked a guest author to talk to you about helping your ministry. We’re privileged to have a traveling missionary from the Middle East. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. His name is Paul.

OK, so he isn’t personally writing a blog for me — but I’ve borrowed from his letter to the Philippians (3:13-14). It’s a couple of familiar verses, but this week when I read them, the passage was fresh and timely.

Paul, take it away!

… But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I’ve read this so many times before but this time I saw the first few words. They stood out so clearly. This… ONE… thing I do. One thing. Hmmm.

Almost every Pastor I talk to is extremely busy. Some are so busy that they are struggling with their marriages and relationships. They have so many meetings, trips, papers, sermons, building issues, HR hassles, blogs and more. Then they add their family and friends.

So how do you juggle it all?

Paul was busy too (even when he was in prison); but he came to this point in one of his letters to say: After all that I’m doing, I’m focused on ONE thing.

That’s what we call branding.

All churches and ministries (companies too, but that’s a whole other blog) need to be focused. Yes, you need to be focused on what Paul was focused on — the Goal of heaven. But you also need to have an overall goal of what you want your ministry to do.

The problem with most Pastors? They have too many things that they’re focusing on.

A single focus is good for three reasons:

  1. Your current congregation will be able to identify the benefit of attending. You need to tell them on a regular basis to remind them (and you).
  2. Your potential audience will be drawn to your benefit and focus. Also, they’ll hear a focus from your congregation when they ask about your church/ministry.
  3. It’s easier for you (since you are busy) when you realize how EVERYTHING you’re doing is wrapped around a skeleton of focus.

So, what the ONE thing that your church and ministry is focused on? The best way to determine this is to follow this short process:

  1. Ask some key people in your ministry why they originally choose you or why they stay with you. Perhaps ask them what keeps them from moving on to another ministry. Then ask your staff the same thing.
  2. List these things and pay attention to the ones that are repeated several times.
  3. Check your heart. As the leader, you get to choose what you believe God laid on your heart as your focus. God places the desire for this focus in your talents and abilities — but also gives you a love for it!
  4. Take that one benefit and start listing your current tasks and programs — how do they add to this benefit or build on it? Consider dropping or changing any that don’t fit.

Once you have focus on the ONE thing; strain towards it, it’ll motivate you to press on. God will allow this focus to build an extraordinary ministry that ultimately shares the love of Christ and open up the Kingdom to all who believe. It’s great that each Church has a different focus and TOGETHER it builds God’s kingdom.

How will God use you? Be specific and be FOCUSED.

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