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There Are No Magic Bullets in Ministry but There Are Still Ways to Succeed

Don’t ever think that way! Ministry has never been easy, it’s not easy now and it’s not going to be easy. We have a spiritual enemy who is committed to making ministry hard.

Furthermore, we live in a fallen world. Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, work has been tiresome and difficult.

Effective leaders don’t look for magic bullets.

Rather, they apply themselves more fully to solving the problems in their ministry strategies.

Remember, there are no perfect systems. Every system has problems. Pick your approach and stick with it for a long time. Stay committed to addressing the problems of your system rather than complaining about them. In leadership, resolute focus over time always trumps quick fixes … ALWAYS!

Resist the urge to quickly write a critical epitaph saying, “Here lies a bad strategy.” Instead, do a gut-wrenchingly honest postmortem of your own leadership and intensity. Instead of making definitive statements when something doesn’t work, good leaders ask personally honest questions. “Why does this work for others, but not me?” “Did I honestly put every ounce of effort I could I into this?” “How could I have led or executed better?” “How can I do this better next time?”

Here’s how to do things better next time: Rather than criticizing or copying what seems to work in other ministry contexts, we should study those things and ask WHY they work.

This journey leads us to the principles behind the practices. When we understand principles, we can discern how those principles apply in our own contexts, and make good leadership choices as a result.

Discover the WHY behind the what. Seek to know the principle behind the practice. Then apply resolute focus to creating solutions over the long haul. When we do this, we find much more in ministry to rejoice about and far less to complain about.  

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Alan Danielson is the Lead Pastor of a church that’s probably a lot like yours. New Life Bible Church is a church of a few hundred people, but not long ago he was on the executive staff of Life.Church in Edmond, OK. Now, along with pastoring New Life, Alan is a consultant and has worked with many of America’s largest churches. Despite this, Alan has a passion for the small church. That’s why he lives by the personal conviction that no church is too small for him to work with. Alan founded Triple-Threat Solutions to help leaders of and churches of all sizes grow. Learn more from Alan at http://www.3Threat.net.