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4 Ways To Move Beyond Stagnation In A Ministry Role

Posted by Vanderbloemen Search Group on 6/21/17 7:05 AM

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Repetition can often create stagnation within ministry. I have noticed that the longer I have served in a ministry role, what first seemed exciting can lose its luster after a few months or years. It is not that I have lost my passion for ministry, but what seemed to excite me in a specific role doesn't anymore. Throughout my ministry experience, I’ve noticed four things that helped me continue to find joy in my current ministry role.

1. Remind yourself of your calling.

You are not in your current ministry by accident.Tweet: You are not in your current ministry by accident. http://bit.ly/2sQeWam via @VanderbloemenSG

Whether you are a senior pastor, youth pastor, or volunteer, God has called you to a specific role for this time. I have found it helpful to not only remind myself of God’s calling through prayer but also by having an object on my desk that I can look at daily to remind myself of why I am in my current ministry. This object can be anything from a picture, a meaningful card, or a knick-knack. Its purpose is to remind me of God’s calling in my life.

2. Learn to see God in the mundane.

Sunday is a spectacular day with amazing stories of God working through people’s lives across your community and the world. Rightly so, as the church gathers to worship, they celebrate God’s transforming power. It's easy to feel good about what God is doing in your community on Sunday. But Sunday is just one day of the week.

God is present in the lives of your church community every other day of the week. Find ways to encourage yourself, your team, and your entire congregation with God stories every day of the week. Take it upon yourself or have someone on staff be intentional about listening for ways God is moving in your community throughout the week and then share them with the team.

Here are some practical ways to share God stories throughout the week:

  • Start a Facebook group, Slack channel, or text thread where inspiring God stories can be shared throughout the week
  • Have a part of weekly staff meetings that is dedicated to sharing God stories. In our weekly Friday morning Vanderbloemen staff meetings, the second item on the agenda is to share the God Stories we've witnessed that week.
  • Have someone on staff send out a mid-week God stories email to inspire your team.

Finding God’s activity in the mundane day-to-day can transform how we see our repetitive duties throughout the week. They all work together in God’s plan of redemption.

3. Mix it up.

When I find myself getting stuck in the constant repetition of meetings, events, and the routine busy work, I try to find ways to mix it up. For me, this sometimes looks like having a meeting outside, studying at a new coffee shop, or gathering the team together to figure out how we can make an annual event have a new layer. I definitely encourage finding your own unique way to mix things up. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to try something new.   

4. Use your imagination.

Feeling stagnant in your ministry role can serve as a reminder to reevaluate where your ministry currently is and where it needs to be. In these moments, I have found it helpful to take the time to think about what the original goal of my current ministry was, what the plan to achieve that goal looked like, and to ask whether or not we are achieving our goals as a church. But even more, I like to think about what our ministry would look like in its ideal shape. For instance, asking questions like, “what if we could reach ___?” or “what if we could serve ___?  In these moments, I like to gather with my staff and ask them those same questions. Surprisingly, I have found that sometimes my staff has had the same thoughts.  

But even more, I like to think about what our ministry would look like in its ideal shape. For instance, asking questions like, “What if we could reach ___?” or “What if we could serve ___?" In these moments, I like to gather my staff and ask them those same questions. Surprisingly, I have found that sometimes my staff has the same thoughts.  

Even when we have different visions, these moments allow for constructive conversation within our team of what we are doing and where we are going. When ideas are reshaped and reformed, excitement and love for your current ministry can come alive again. I encourage you to not only take some time this week and ask God what He has next for your ministry but gather with your team and use your imagination about how you can take your ministry to the next level.

The nature of ministry entails repetition and can lead to stagnation. It can be hard to rekindle your love for your current ministry when you're facing burnout. In my ministry experience, I have found these four things to help rekindle that love. Please share with us in the comments below how you love where God has placed you in your ministry.

How can you energize your call to ministry this week?

Topics: Church Development, Senior Leadership

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