Three Actions To Improve Your Support System

Courtesy of Mat Honan/Creative Commons License

I didn’t get a cell phone until my senior year of college.  In fact I didn’t purchase my first one, my mother bought it for me.  I didn’t complain; however, I was curious as to why she needed to buy me one and she said, “I don’t like you driving by yourself from New Jersey to Ohio without one.” I reminded her that I had been doing it for three years.  While I still remember life without a cell phone, it feels like a necessity to survive in today’s world.  At the time I did not know what a phone would do for me.
If I were to ask you what you needed in order to be successful in ministry you would respond with, “Support from the pastor and my family.”, “Quiet time with God.” or, “A mentor and accountability system.”  Both are necessary; however, incomplete if you don’t have these three things to support you:

  1. A Solid Team Of 3: You need to surround yourself with at least three who will pick up the ball and run with it.  These are people you trust and can be authentic around.  You need to invest and pour into them, share with them your vision and teach them what you know.  A solid team of at least three people will help extend your leadership, which means more ministers.
  2. A Managed Schedule: If you aren’t planning your time you will find yourself constantly overwhelmed.  A schedule will help you build margin and set a pace for the craziness ministry brings.  Take at least 30 minutes every three months to look at your schedule so that you can be efficient and focused.
  3. A Ministry Outside The Job: You might serve within your ministry, like leading a small group; however, does it fill you like a ministry is supposed to?  Sometimes we need that outlet that ministry provides outside of the job.  That might mean serving at a soup kitchen or volunteering with parks and recreation.  Serving outside the job helps you separate the work from the joy that ministry can bring.

In ministry it’s important to have outlets and guidelines that are going to point you down the right path.  While support networks and alone time with God are necessary, we need to build guardrails that will prevent us from truly losing control.

What other “overlooked” necessities do we need for ministry?  What is another key characteristic to a healthy ministry?

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