Letting Go

I’m in the middle of a transition in my ministry and at times it can be hard. Last year around May, I was talking to my coaching team about retooling our ministry giving it a new look. So we came up with some ideas that would enhance our present ministry. We tweaked a few things in our service and started to plan out some cool, exciting improvements for our first impressions area.  We wanted a fun “wow” factor to kids but more to parents.
You may be saying WHAT? It’s all about the kids well that is only partially true. You see if we don’t have parents saying hey that looks like fun and you just might learn something. The truth is that the kids won’t be dropped off. Especially on the days they need it most. On the flip side parents might look at your first impression area and say yea this church has nothing for our family. They don’t value the most precious gift given to me.  My kids.
You see your first impression is very important and the stats say you have 7 minuets to make an impact to determine whether a family will return or not and that is from the arrival in your parking lot. That’s enough to make your head spin. That’s not a lot of time to show people what your ministry is all about.
I see kids ministry first impressions like this. It’s kind of like this a box of cereal. The kids look at the box and see if it looks fun, and exciting but really they are interested in how it tastes and what the prize is inside.
For parents they want to see that the kids will be excited about it and want what is inside. Then you have the list of ingredients on the back. They want to know what this is made of, but most people look at that part last. It’s not that it’s lacking importance, because you and I both know that this is where the real part is. In our case the teaching about life change and living a life honoring God.
 So you should see this is an important part of our ministry these days not that it should be but it is. You and I know it’s really not the “wow” factor but that kids feel the love of God in a real tangible way.
So, we need to consider the way our ministries look. For us we needed an update and through a transition in our church, our ministry had to speed up the facelift. So one of the areas that needed a change was our welcome center. My team had not discussed the changes that needed to be made at length before but when they headr that the changes needed to be made they were on board. The truth was that I had what some would say high ownership of the way it looked. I say that I was emotionally attached to the way this thing looked it represented the start of a series of changes that would make our healthy ministry into what it is today.
So I approved some changes and entrusted the work to be done by someone else. This was scary but I was ensured I would be consulted every step of the way. As things are progressing I tried to cast a vision for what I saw this to be and we made some choices and compromises.
Today the rubber hit the road. I was approached by one of the people who was going to be working on the project they showed me the materials they would work off of and I agreed that they would do. But deep inside I was not sure this was the best direction for this to go.
So I helped clear a work area and walked away and left it in God’s hands. I returned to see the progress a few hours later and to my surprise it was exactly what I envisioned. This was great but the bad part was that in that moment the vision changed. The materials that we had purchased now would not work. I stood there and communicated the big vision for this to the person who was working on it. After hearing my vision they were able to understand what believed that we needed. They asked if there could be more changes than I had originally said they could do. And I heard a quit voice say… “yes”. (It was my wife) Then I spoke up and said yea we could go for it.
 In that moment I realized I had a sacred cow in my ministry and I needed to have a steak dinner. So now I’m very excited about the new impressions we will be making to everyone who comes through the doors.
Though I have good intentions I need to put my trust in God and He has all the plans worked out. I just needed to seek him. This may seem trivial to some but a big life lesson is this. If we commit ourselves to praying and seeking God we will see His plans for us and we will be encouraged beyond our wildest dreams. He has some of the greatest things in store for us, but we are not the focus here. We will be amazed at the things He can do to bring Himself all glory and fame though our efforts. It’s for God we labor.
I’m reminded of a few passages of scripture that I will wrap up with you figure out how they fit. 

Jeremiah 29:11-14

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Colossians 3:23  whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,


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