Just like a plant can’t live without water, soil and sunlight there are some things your ministry just can’t live without. This isn’t an exhaustive list but here are three things I think are the most important to the life of the ministry you lead:
As a pastor I hate to admit this but sometimes I use prayer as a last resort instead of it being my first go-to. It’s easy to just “power through” but we’ll never be as effective or as impactful trying to do the work of God without relying on the power of God. King Solomon in Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Relying on God is no excuse for lack of planning. He’s also given us experiences, abilities and brains to make plans that will move the ministry forward. Alan Lakein says, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Likewise Solomon in Proverbs 21:5 (NLT) says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity…”
It’s not about choosing to rely on God or choosing to make plans, it’s about choosing to rely on God WHILE you’re planning: “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3 (NLT)
Prayer and planning are great, but they shouldn’t be done in a vacuum. We need people to pray and plan with. Proverbs 15:22 (NLT) says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” Every ministry leader needs:
- People who are further ahead to give them advice.
- People who are willing to follow them and share the load.
- People to support them.
- To submit to and garner the support of their leaders (see Hebrews 13:17).
- Humility to listen to others, even when it hurts.
- Wisdom to discern between what is helpful and what is hurtful.
As John Maxwell says, “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” And I would add, “or to achieve something great for God.”
What are some ways you can improve the prayer, planning and partnerships in your ministry?