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22 Critical Ministry Imperatives

Farmer: The farmer’s discipline is doing the mundane and doing what others will not stay with. There is nothing glamorous about staying with the unnoticed small things, the tedious, boring and unexciting. Do you know any famous farmers? Celebrity famers? We can name a screen actor more quickly than a farmer. But the farmer is the first partaker of the crop.

Farmers stick with their work because they see the end result and they are farming for their survival. What mundane tasks do you have in front of you that you can do today with excitement and excellence, knowing that your leadership is growing as you are staying disciplined and committed to doing those small things that make a big difference? Is it running reports, calling guests, data entry, teaching music lessons, arriving to meetings early, meeting with the same person year after year? Stick with it! That is leadership.

14. Leadership requires staying fit to be used by God.

We have no choice of whether we are going to be used by God or not. The choice we have is what God is going to use us to do. That is up to us—it is put into our hands. We can choose a higher level of purity and thereby choose a higher level of use.

Choosing a life fit to be used by God is your daily choice. Second Timothy 2:21 in The Message says, “Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.” We must make the choice to do the disciplines that will keep us fit to be used by God and make a maximum level of impact.

15. Leadership requires a Word-based thinking process.

There are several things on which we can base our thought process.

Reaction-based thinking: This is crisis-based thinking, coming up with solutions after problems develop, fighting fires, being blindsided by circumstances and leading stressed out. Do you wait and react or do you think proactively, seeing things beforehand? Leadership is made out of how you think through things that happen.

Proactive-based thinking: Proactive thinking involves foresight, thinking ahead, anticipating future changes or problems. It means covering your bases to include all possible scenarios.

Emotion-based thinking: How good are you at removing emotion from the decision-making process? Do you think based on the solid Word of God? Do you think based on principles, or do you get swayed by your emotions, nostalgia and self-doubt? We all use our emotions to some degree. Good leaders have good emotional management and ability to act in a way that will lead to the most productive thinking.

Evaluate today what your thought process is based on and what you must do to stay fit to be used by God.

16. Leadership requires never giving up and never turning back.

You might be familiar with the famous words of Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never give up.” Leaders need to take those words to heart. In a word, leaders need to persevere. Perseverance means remaining in a place or purpose despite opposition, staying your ground.

Some threats to perseverance include unconquered, “insignificant” weights. These are the things that Hebrews describes as weight. It could be sin, but is not necessarily sin. Some things that are not wrong in themselves hinder us in putting forth our best effort.

Another threat to perseverance is undefined goals and purposes. The long-distance runner must have a set goal, a mark to hit. Establish short-range goals and keys for evaluating them. The purpose must be centered on God’s eternal plan and purpose. If that is established, then you will meet your goals.

Be a finisher who overcomes every challenge in order to finish the dream. Finish the course successfully.