by Don McGarvey
He understood the need for a continual state of transition in order to maintain effective ministry. He understood that the world was changing and world missions needed to transition from effective methods of yesterday to the new methodology of tomorrow.
If you’ve studied world missions, you know that nothing stays the same for long. It seems that world missions has been in a continual state of transition from the very beginning. The history of missions is peppered with stories of missionaries riding on horseback into the bush traveling from village to village to proclaim the Good News. Today we are effectively utilizing methods to reach a world that is vastly different than it was just a few years ago. We’ve learned that what is effective today might not be effective tomorrow.
Transition can be frustrating, but it is inevitable for effective ministry whether it’s on the other side of the world or just down the street. Our world is changing, but thank God we have the changeless message of Jesus Christ to present and we have the continual leadership of the Holy Spirit to show us new ways of connecting with the lost and loving them into the Kingdom of God.
by Tom Jacobs
I confess. I’ve grown to enjoy mowing the lawn and clearing snow from my driveway. It may sound a little strange to some people, but I like the feeling of being able to look at what I’ve done and actually see the progress that I’ve made. In ministry, often that joy eludes us. It can be difficult to see just how sanctified the people in the church have become. About the time you think the church has become healthy, you hear that gossip or judgmentalism has flared up again. The work of ministry is never complete, and sometimes you can find yourself wondering if it has even begun!
During those times of frustration it is important to remind ourselves that Jesus is not done with us yet. We may not be able to see the progress (especially in the short term), but God’s Word to the Philippians is true for us also: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6, NIV). We live in the kingdom of the “not yet.” God’s work is being done, but it is not complete yet.
As spiritual leaders, it falls to us to see people through eyes of faith. Certainly, we see people as they are, but we also see them as the individuals that God has created them to be.
This December, our communications theme is “not yet.” We’ll be talking about what it means to wait for our Savior, to wait to see growth, to value delayed gratification and more. So, join us as we explore the value of living in the kingdom of the “not yet.”
by Heath Adamson
After a cataclysmic event (Noah’s flood) the Lord sovereignly instituted a process that we can all count on. We never have to wonder what next winter holds: He has predetermined it. Noah was given fair advance from the Lord regarding the flood. He had plenty of time to warn those around him and design/build the ark. Imagine, however, the feeling of uncertainty when you are surrounded by water for week after week? God established security and serenity with Noah simply by establishing a process. When God speaks, nothing can affect the outcome.
God used the concept of process to enable Noah to move forward with God’s plan. A system put in place enables us to launch into the world of the unknown when there are certain things we can count on regardless.
This generation of leadership pioneers change. Leaders trumpet evolution. A temptation is to become addicted to change. In the book Good To Great Jim Collins identifies an underlying characteristic in the organizations that were good but never reached greatness. They were “addicted to change.” Someone once said that tradition is the living faith of the dead while traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. Some things need to be challenged, critiqued, set aside or created. At times, however, the weak link is not the employee or the motivational cause. Sometimes the system is flawed. When this is the case, evaluating and improving is more beneficial than starting from scratch.
As you evaluate your current context, be ready to assess what systems need to remain regardless of your season. These systems can anchor you in growth when you need staff or volunteers. There is something to be said for consistent growth over the long haul as opposed to sporadic growth only to fade away. The right systems with the right people will produce the right results.
Before making another change, allow God to lead you in assessing if the problem is really that person or that principle. Maybe, just maybe, your system just needs to be established and remain long enough to produce fruit along the way. Sometimes change is the answer. Other times, however, remaining is.
What does leadership look like in the next generation?