Saturday, June 16, 2007

11 Things That Can Kill A Ministry

If you are looking to kill your ministry or slow down your growth, be sure to integrate some of these practices (or stop them if you want a vibrant, life-giving ministry)...

1. Destructive pacing (too much, right now)
Try to do everything in as little of time as possible. Don't give people lead time for dreaming big and being creative. Make sure you pace yourself in a way so that when you approach a task, everything else has to go on hold.

2. Lack of planning ahead (plan to fail)
Make sure that you leave everything to the last minute. You know, like an hour before the worship service. Then you have an excuse for number 11, mediocrity.

3. Encourage people to volunteer (don't let them minister)
Give your volunteers enough just enough instructions to compete the task-at-hand. Then they can go home. Make sure that they don't get a vision or passion for the overall goals because they might try to hang around and start taking away work that the pastor does. And whatever you do, don't hold them accountable.

4. Talk about us (make US the focus)
Always talk about what we can do and how we have all the ability to do anything. That way we can leave the work of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit out of it. This is a great way to keep people busy, too.

5. Misdirected focus (don't talk about Jesus)
Focus on the little things like worship style, carpet, windows, and any other personal preference. That way we can be bogged down and distracted from the Person of our faith and the real vision He has for us.

6. Lack of consistent and effective communication (assume everything)
If you have certain expectations, be sure to never tell anyone. That way you can blame them when things don't go the way you saw it in your head.

7. Lack of communicated vision (out of sight, out of mind)
Once you mention what your ministry is about, make sure you never mention it again. People will remember it forever, right? Also, don't forget to dream small dreams that are only humanly possible. We wouldn't want God to get involved.

8. The status quo (God always gives small dreams)
You're there. You've arrived. You're doing it just like God wants. Really! He doesn't have any more growth or surprises on the horizon. It's a good thing, too, because society and culture never changes either.

9. Lack of passion (make Jesus seem boring)
Make sure you weigh people down with lots of boring lists to follow. Religion is about rules and formulas. Besides, the message of Jesus is about the law which promises death, we don't want to be life-giving. Jesus wants us to practice religion without relationship, not live an abundant life right now.

10. Make Jesus boring (it's a sin)
Since the message of Christ never changes, nether should the methods we use to reach and engage people. Keep trying to stuff new wine into the old wineskin.

11. Seek mediocrity (God doesn't want your best)
Make sure that what you and your people do is just "good enough." Besides, we're all tired from doing all the things on our lists and taking on God's role in life. God understands. Why else would he give you first fruits if he didn't want you to keep them? That's what He did with Jesus.

I hope you guys can appreciate sarcasm :-)