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Monday, August 31, 2015

Four things that will Derail Your Ministry

How to avoid becoming a statistic in working with Pastors, other Staff, and Relationships within the congregation.

No one goes into the ministry planning to fail, their expectations envision success. Being sensitive to some common causes of failure can help avoid a ministry going down in flames. More failures in ministry are from personal moral issues and problems in relationships than just from a lack of musical skill.
1. Wrong thinking patterns:
My value, worth comes from my performance”: Our worth as individuals comes from what Christ has done for us, not how well we perform. We dare not confuse talent with self worth, or functional ability with acceptance before God.
Victim mentality”: There are those who seem to see the glass always as half empty, and believe that everyone is after them, that others are always picking on them, and that the dark clouds just seem to follow them around.
I can not be wrong” and “fear of failure”: The  issue here is insecurity.  A fear of failure means loss of self esteem or a sense of worth as an individual, or an issue of pride, and a resistance toward humility.
“I have all the answers” : The “know it all” attitude can stem from over confidence, or a false sense of superiority. Sometimes the underlying reason is insecurity, but also can be just outright arrogance.
We’re too small to have an excellent music ministry. When we base excellence on the comparison with the mega-churches we will come up short every time. Fortunately, that is not the basis for excellence. The basis for excellence is God’s approval.

–What can be done? Paul in Romans 12:1-2 gives us great help: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” [emphasis added] Patterns of wrong thinking are common even among those who name Christ as Savior. So how do we “renew our minds” so that we can be “transformed?” Again, Paul gives us some great help in Philippians 4:8:  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  We must change the focus of our thinking.

Another great help is to articulate the truth of the situation.  The truth is that we don’t have all the answers, only God does; that everyone isn’t out to get us, since “he that began a good work in you will carry it on until its completion” [Phil. 1:6].  The truth is that our worth as individuals comes from what Christ has done for us, not how well we perform. The truth is that failure is the confirmation that we are not perfect. Everyone fails at something. We chose to think in certain ways and develop patterns of thinking that are not healthy nor biblical. Choosing to think in other ways takes deliberate effort and practice, but is a biblical principle that can change our lives. Remember that the gift on which Jesus commented was not the great amounts by the rich, but that of the poor widow.

Replace “wrong” patterns with “right” patterns:  Ask the question: “What is the truth about the this situation?” 
– My worth comes from Christ and what He has done for me. I do not work to earn God’s approval, but to show gratitude for all He has done.
– Since my self esteem dos not dependent on success, failure is an opportunity for the character of Christ be developed.
– Excellence in ministry is based on obedience, not size; having God’s not human approval.
– Give thanks “in all things,” not for all things. Be sure to share you appreciation and gratitude to others, too.
– God is in control and I can trust Him, even when everything doesn’t make sense.