Recognizing Obstacles as Open Doors for Ministry Innovation and Greater Impact

What’s stopping you?  Are there barriers blocking the path to your dream?  What’s hindering the forward progress of your mission?  What’s deterring the realization of your vision?  And more importantly what’s your attitude about your situation?

Your whole attitude can be transformed when you recognize that obstacles can be open doors for innovation and greater impact.  Pause, and ask yourself a few important questions and see if you gain a new perspective.

  • What’s the real problem I face?  Sometimes the perceived problem is not our real problem.  Skilled leaders learn to identify the problem behind the problem.
  • Is there a field expert I know that can help me process my challenge?  If you don’t know someone personally simply ask yourself “What would __________ (known specialist) do in my situation?”  Opening your imagination this way may give you a fresh perspective.
  • What are 5 options for overcoming my challenge?  Write them down and reflect on them.   Remember some of the best ideas are born out of bad ideas.
  • Is there another approach God is prompting me to take?  Perhaps He allowed the obstacle in order to help you find a better direction.
  • What are the hidden resources I have access to that I’ve not thought about?  This is one of my favorite questions and has helped produce solutions for me on many occasions.  Sometimes the things that are closest to us are the hardest things to see.

Don’t wait for your obstacle to be removed…God put it there to grow you as a leader and to open new doors of opportunity.

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Mac Lake

Mac Lake

I am the Chief Launch Officer of The Launch Network, a new church planting network based out of West Ridge Church in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area. My role is to get The Launch Network up and running, networking with churches and planters to establish healthy church starts across the U.S. and the world. Our goal is to plant 1000 churches in the next 10 years. My passion is growing leaders for the local church. Every time I hear Bill Hybels say “The local church is the hope of the world” my heart comes out of my chest and it increases my sense of urgency for developing leaders who produce leaders.

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What say you? Leave a comment!

Tere Jackson — 03/30/13 7:48 am

I believe we should apply this in everything we do in life. My father fought me at very young age that there is always space to improve and to take my challenges and concerns as a learning experience. When we are positive and believe in excellence we will be always working on ways to improve, innovation comes naturally even in the simplest things doing ordinary things better than anyone else.

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Thank you so much for this post, Eric. It's one of those incredibly intersections. For the past few days, I've been studying for an upcoming message called "Carriers" in a collection that focuses on our identity in Christ. The focus of the my study was trying to discover if Joshua ever invested in anyone because of the obvious fallout after his death. And voila! You reiterated this fact. What a sobering baton we have been handed. Thanks for this post and for your work - I value it. Steve McCoy (The 360 Church, Sarasota)
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How long does it take not to be a newbie and be included. Many members have been there for years doing life together, raised their children together, and never reach out of their group (cliques) to include others on a regular basis. You see them out during the week together or hear theirs stories on Sunday morning about the good time they had with... while out to dinner this past week. You can even be a member of their Sunday School class.
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