Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Systems and Seasons...

The following is a recent post by Craig Groeschel. I felt Craig hit the nail on the head with his insightful comments.

Even a good ministry system will eventually limit what God wants to do if the system doesn’t evolve or totally change. (By system, I mean any program, structure, philosophy, or culture that shapes and helps produce a desired outcome.)

Once people operate within a system long enough, they often start to do ministry out of “muscle memory.” They tend to do the same things and work with the same people, but the results often start to slowly (or quickly) diminish.

Because this is what “we’ve always done,” people might think we just need to do what we did—better. In reality, God might want you to de-construct some ministry philosophy or system so you can hear His new direction.

For example, years ago we were doing everything you could think of to innovate and create ministry possibilities. God directed us into a season of focusing on only five things. This philosophy served us well for about four years. It allowed us to focus on our core ministries without being distracted by lots of less-than-our-best efforts.

After a few years, it became obvious this season was coming to a close. What used to seem freeing started to become limiting. After prayer, we intentionally broke the established system to learn something new.

When a ministry enters a new season, we must open the door for new leaders. The “old guard” often resents new seasons. I’m a big believer in working hard to lead the tenured believers toward new life. Sometimes, though, they refuse to move forward.

In those times, we have to help people grow. If we can’t help people grow with the new direction, we need to be willing to allow some people to move on.

During these transitional seasons, I’m always looking for new leaders. Often they arise from right in front of you. There could be faithful people that were serving under others who seem to rise from nowhere when there is a new chance to lead.

When the current changes, keep your eyes open to new people God will raise up.