Don’t you hate when the finished project doesn’t look like the picture? It could be a cake, a model airplane, or even an origami crane. It sort of looks like it if you tilt your head to the left and cross your eyes; but, it’s just not right.
|Courtesy of Dreamstime.com|
The same often happens in youth ministry when we look at the final product of another church. It’s a tendency we have because we want to know what success looks like. When you find that model you start to look at what needs to be done in order to achieve the same outcome. So you get the same tools they have, you create similar programs; however, all you get is a short lived, dilapidated version of what you were trying to duplicate.
When it comes to duplicating success it’s not as simple as following instructions, in fact it goes beyond superficial needs into something much deeper.
The obstacles can be overwhelming; however, the largest reasons your success will be stunted is because:
- You Avoid Failure: I get it, no one wants to fail and no one is saying it’s fun; however, it’s something that can’t be feared. When we fear failure we never take the necessary risks to think out side the box and shatter paradigms. The reason most ministries never grow is because you are too comfortable with the old model, even if it stinks.
- You Refuse To Be Patient: We see it and then we want it; however, that’s not always the case in healthy growth. We look for the big WOW factor that’s going to draw large numbers of students and an even larger amount of praise. Growth can be long and painful and the only way through it is with perseverance and patience. Don’t look for shortcuts, because you’ll only find yourself at square one, over and over again.
- You Lack Vision: You see their success and you want it, and that’s flattering; however, it’s also misguiding. What we need to do first is create a vision for our ministry (And don’t be afraid to dream big). The vision you design for your ministry isn’t necessarily better than theirs, it should just be what’s best for yours. Create vision and craft it.
It’s okay to want similar success to what other churches and organizations may have, the problem is when you don’t take the time to learn how they earned it. Many times success takes research, studying, interviewing, risking and personal growth before it really plays out.
For those of you in a successful paradigm, never forget to share with others the road you’ve traveled. Sometimes it’s easy to sell a story that’s all flowers and rainbows, when you forget the painful days, the agonizing decisions and tense discussions that come with growing a ministry. But, most importantly encourage one another to stay focused on God.
What else holds us back from achieving success?