I’ve been fortunate in my ministry career in that I haven’t had a whole lot of regrets. Hopefully you can say the same. Of the few regrets I have almost all of them are because we didn’t get exactly what we wanted because we were afraid to go all the way.
Let me give you an example. A few years ago, we decided to add several thousand square feet of kids’ space to our existing building. We were growing like crazy, and our original building just wasn’t adequate anymore.
So we hired a top-level architect who had designed facilities for megachurches like CrossPoint Church in Nashville, NewSpring Church in South Carolina, and Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. This guy is one of the best.
He designed an incredible building, we paid him a lot of money, but when it came time to hire a contractor, we picked the cheapest one we could find.
The result was a building that was a little cheaper on the budget but lacked many of the design features we originally fell in love with. Don’t get me wrong, we still love our building and are thankful for it, but it’s really only about ninety percent of what we had hoped for.
That ten percent we left off seemed small and insignificant at the time, but in hindsight I’m kicking myself for not going all the way with it.
As most of you have probably already learned, this idea doesn’t just apply to buildings, but it applies to multiple areas of our lives and ministries.
If you want to lose weight and get in shape, you have to give 100% effort. You can’t achieve your goals if you’re still drinking cokes every day.
If you want to save money, you have to live by a budget 100% of the time. You can’t overspend 10% of the time and still meet your goals.
If you’re looking to hire someone, you don’t want someone who gives 90% effort. You want them to give 100%, even if you do have to pay them a little bit more.
So, if you’re in a spot where you need to make a hard decision, let me give you three reasons why I think you should go all the way.
- It will cost you more in the long run.
I’m all for budgets. I’m a money guy. I know the Bible tells us we should count the cost, so I’m not saying throw caution to the wind. What I would ask you to do is think long term. Here I am in a building that I would like to make some changes to, and it’s going to cost more to do it now than it would’ve cost to do it in the first place.
- You’ll end up regretting it.
If there’s something you know you need to do and you don’t end up doing it or you don’t do it to the full extent, I guarantee you that you’ll end up regretting it. You will always wonder what if. What if we had made that hire? What if we had sent that promotional piece? Don’t live your life with what ifs.
- You never know.
As much as I love crunching numbers and making plans, there’s got to be an element of faith in our decision making. There are certain times in ministry when I believe you just have to take a chance. You never know what God can do until you try. If you fail, at least you learned something, right?
Let’s face it, most of our regrets are about things we didn’t do instead of things we did wrong. When faced with the choice of playing it safe or going all the way, I hope you’ll choose to go for it.
What’s your biggest regret in ministry? Make sure to share with us in the comments below, and don’t forget to sign up for the blog to get tips on leadership, church growth, and more delivered to your inbox each week.