I read a very interesting scripture last week in Acts 16. Check it out.
"Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there."
Was it a "good thing" for Paul to go and minister to the people in Asia, Mysia, and Bithynia? Of course. But it wasn't a "God thing." He had other plans for them. Check out the rest of the verses.
"That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us! So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there."
This time it was a "God thing." See the difference?
In your ministry, you will constantly be offered "good things" to do. Programs, ideas, events, and initiatives will come your way in abundance. But just because it's a "good thing" doesn't mean it's a "God thing" for your ministry.
So how do you know the difference? Here's 20 questions to ask yourself.
- Have I sought God in prayer about this?
- Will this help fulfill the vision God has for our ministry?
- Does this line up with our strategy and direction?
- What spiritual step will this help people take?
- How will this impact the ministry as a whole?
- How will this impact resources and staff?
- How will this impact other ministries?
- Is this sustainable?
- Is this opportunity already offered at other churches in our area?
- Is this a "niche" that God wants us to use?
- Is the opportunity based on the personal interest of a few?
- Am I willing to move something else off the plate to make this happen?
- Will this bear fruit that remains?
- Will this help us reach people who are lost or just bring in consumer church people from other churches?
- How many volunteers will it take to make it happen?
- Will it pull volunteers away from other key areas?
- Am I doing a lot of things with mediocrity or a few things with excellence?
- Am I keeping things simple?
- How will this affect the weekend service(s)?
- Am I doing this just to "keep the peace?"