Just over a year ago, my wife and I set out on a journey to build a house. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. To make a long story short, my parents had given me a little spot of land, but because of all the rules and regulations our county has in place, we’ve still yet to even get our deed. Without a deed you can’t build a house, and at this point, housing costs have risen so much, we couldn’t afford to build the house we want anyways. Which means, we’re stuck where we are. Not a great place to be, but a place many churches find themselves in as well.
There’s a story Jesus tells about a man who sets off to build a tower, which has come to my mind more than a few times during this whole situation. I’m left to wonder whether I’m this man who forgot to consider the cost.
Some of you pastors may feel the same way. There’s a cost to ministry, and often that cost is failure.
But I believe failure can be avoided, at least in most circumstances. We just need to avoid making some of these simple mistakes.
- Lack of preparation. When you’re passionate about seeing your church grow, it’s easy to skip over some of the prep work that needs to take place before you get started. It would be like trying to plant seeds before you till the ground. No matter what kind of goal you have, there’s always prep work that needs to happen first.
- Trying to do it by yourself. Every pastor needs a team of people around him or her who are working together to accomplish the same thing. You can’t do it by yourself, and even if you could, you shouldn’t. Ministry is meant to be done together. If you feel like you don’t have anyone on your team, you need to spend more time prepping those relationships.
- Trying to go too fast. Ministry is a marathon, not a sprint. There are going to be times when you need to push hard, and there are going to be times when you need to rest. Try to change too much too quickly, and you may find yourself looking for a new church to pastor. Remember to pace yourself.
- Forgetting to celebrate along the way. It’s easy to be so focused on accomplishing the goals that we forget to celebrate the wins that lead up to that goal. In the church I serve, we haven’t come close to reaching our goal for small groups this year. But we just saw three people give their lives to Christ because of the influence of a small group they were attending. I would be crazy not to celebrate that. Celebrating along the way gives you the momentum to accomplish your ultimate goal.
I’m sure I’ve left some things out. What would you add to this list? What are some of the mistakes you’ve made when it comes to accomplishing goals? Leave a comment and let us know. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.