Nov 12, 2012

10 Things I'd Change In My Ministry If I Had a Time Machine

Hard to believe it's been 23 years since I started in Children's Ministry.  There's been a lot of joy along the way.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

But knowing what I know now, there are some things I would change if I had a time machine that enabled me to go back 23 years and start over.  Here are 10 of them.

I'd rest more.  I'd make sure I took all my days off and used up all my vacation time.  I've discovered the hard way that you are at your best when you rest.

I'd narrow my focus.  I'd focus on doing a few things well instead of trying to offer a buffet of ministries.  I've realized that less truly is more.

I'd spend more time developing the unique ministry God has for me instead of trying to be exactly like other ministries I see as successful.  Yes, I'd learn from other ministries.  Yes, I'd go to conferences and bring back ideas.  But I'd balance learning from others with staying true to the unique culture I am in.  A copy is never as valuable as an original.

I'd recruit through vision instead of need.  I'd invite people to join me on a mission that is bigger than any of us alone.

I'd ask people to show me my blind spots.  I wouldn't wait for a "year-end evaluation."  I'd actively ask my friends to be brutally honest with me and help me grow as a person and leader.

I'd stop trying to keep everyone happy.  I'd acknowledge that no matter what you do...not everyone is going to like it...and that's okay. 

I'd spend more time developing leaders.  I'd block off more time for pouring into others and releasing them to do ministry.

I'd slow down when making changes.  I'd make it a process instead of a surprise.  I'd take more time to bring people along instead of running past them.

I'd spend more time ministering to parents.  I'd invest more time, energy, and resources in equipping parents to be the spiritual leader of their child.

I'd collaborate with other departments instead of competing with them.  I'd knock down my ministry silo and reach out to other departments, knowing that we are stronger together.

The good can't go back in time, but you can make changes now.  Go for it so you won't look back with any regrets 20 years from now. 

What would you change if you could go back and start over?
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.


For me, it would definitely be the rest thing. I always felt like I needed to do more.

Great post! Wish I had read this 6 years ago (and believed it, too).

Going back would be...
1. More time spent with the parents listening to them (Taking strides to do this)
2. Talking to the vision with multiple people all the time
3. More time in leadership development instead of myself always being the key guy.
4. Discipleship as the main focus of everything. Next steps are so important. Still working at laying these out and connecting these all together where I lead.
5. Definitely more rest and presence with the fam. Doing this a lot more. Not by my might but by God's might.

Joey, I like your last comment. So right. I think I knew some of these things but didn't "believe" they applied to me. Had to learn them the hard way. Hopefully others will read of our experiences and not have to learn that way.

Thanks for sharing those Nathan. Great stuff.

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