From an early age my daughter displayed a characteristic that was double-edged in its potential. Whatever she did (she’s an artist) had to be perfect. If not she would screw it up, throw it in the dustbin and start again. It was good that she wanted to produce work to the best of her ability, but not so good when so much time was wasted. At school she came a cropper at exams as work had to be completed within a specific time. She eventually learnt: rather than starting all over again, just repair the flaw and carry on. From that early age she yearned for success and excellence. She discovered this only comes when you have something to go after and fully give yourself to. She’s still learning!
Someone once asked General Booth of the Salvation Army the secret of his success. He hesitated for a second, then, with tears in his eyes, said, “I will tell you the secret. [Yahweh] has had all there was of me to have.” Aren’t we impressed with what Yahweh achieved through him and his team?
To successfully achieve any part (or whole) of a vision for a local church or ministry, leaders must consider and settle three things:
You must know what you really want to achieve. This seems fundamental, but too often leaders are not crystal clear about their purpose and the mission of the congregation they lead. If we’re not convinced about what we’re supposed to be doing to advance the Kingdom, we cannot really commit ourselves to it. William Booth was totally persuaded about his mandate and it occupied his entire life.
Douglas Lurtan says, “When you determine what you want, you have made the most important decision of your life. You have to know what you want in order to attain it.”
This leads on to how we should be doing it. The ‘how’ must follow the ‘what.’ One sure way to derail a vision (for it to come to nothing and members to underachieve) is to be without a strategy. Strategy is a roadmap that shows how we intend to get to where we want to be; it details the steps to take to achieve or experience what we want. But it’s more than that. It’s also to do with the way tasks are carried out, people’s attitude toward them, and the quality of work produced. Paul, instructing believers at Colossae said, “…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord [Yahshua], giving thanks to [Yahweh] the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17, NIV). All we do should be done as representing Yahshua. No-one demands perfection, but our work or service should be carried out with a degree of excellence. We shouldn’t have the attitude, ‘Any old how will do.’
Leaders, we should inspire members to give of their best, to do their best and thereby produce their best for the Kingdom.
Knowing ‘what’ and ‘how’ can fail if we don’t consider ‘who’ is doing it. If there’s a high value on achieving the vision then it’s important who is enlisted onto the team. General Booth’s success was a direct result of his total commitment to Yahweh and to the mission. Those who participate in the local fellowship’s vision must be committed in the same way. A fellowship consists of people with differing gifts and abilities. Those gifts must be deployed with wisdom to gain their maximum potential. To achieve success we must have the right people in the right places, doing the right thing for the right reasons. Leaders must be aware of the gifts members possess and deploy them appropriately. If someone consistently serves in the wrong place (not suited to their character, gifts, abilities, passion, capacity and experience) their enthusiasm will wane; they will become frustrated and performance decline. We must help people find the right places for service and so enable their gift(s) to flourish, maximising the success of the congregation. ‘Discovering Ministry’ is a wonderful course that helps individuals fulfil Yahweh’s purpose through competently using their spiritual gifts to serve local communities.
Success, for the servant of Yahweh, is fulfilling His purpose and knowing in your heart that He has all of you.
It is not always the talented people who serve Yahweh the best – it is the consecrated ones.
Those who claim to be disciples of Yahshua should know that their success can only be achieved through enthusiastic and committed service.
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
1 Peter 4:11 (NIV)
If anyone serves, he should do so with the strength [Elohim] provides, so that in all things [Elohim] may be praised through [Yahshua Messiah].
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Finally, brothers, 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.
Heavenly Father, if I’m not convinced about what we should be doing, how we should be doing it, and who should do it – please open my eyes, ears and heart . . . so I get it! I so want our members to grow and flourish in their gifts and, through that, our congregation to fulfil its mission. Please help me and our leadership team, through your wisdom, to collaborate with members so they serve in the right place, at the right time, and so find success in their personal lives. In your kindness enable us to successfully mobilise people to give of their best as they serve and carry the vision forward.