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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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COMMENTS

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.

Recent Comments
I'm having a hard time making the distinction in my head. Shouldn't a part of disciple making be teaching them that they need to make disciples? Isn't successful discipleship that relationship that leads to more disciples, thus fulfilling the mission? I understand the distinction if you're using the wrong assumption of discipleship being inward focused, but it isn't... it shouldn't be. The core of discipleship should be urgency in the mission to make more disciples. Ok... I understand what you're saying now about "what's more important." Thanks for letting me think in circles for a minute.
 
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I love Ed's writings and heart. I am frustrated by these articles, however. Much of the missiological basis of the Church Growth Movement are not mentioned, and the origination of the formulas are not substantiated. Also, the Movement via Wagner, started mentioning the importance of health over 3o years ago. I wish these articles were better researched and less sweeping in their generalizations. Things like E1, E2, E3 evangelism, group multiplication, relational networks, faith, health, and the care to measure the right things are largely missing here. Perhaps Ed has earned the right to generalize, but I still was disappointed. But keep researching Ed! Ed and Thom have continued on in the spirit of the movement by doing quality research, and for that I am deeply grateful.
 
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This discussion will continue, for sure. I am tasked with the online worship ministry do our church at FBC Trussville and it is proving to be an important piece of the overall ministry. As in most things In life and technology, balance is in order. Many of our older adults prefer the "live" service online rather than a week or even day-later DVD or downloaded service. They tell me it is important for them to be a part while the service occurs. This is key because if a person simply wanted the message or music or to see the pastor because they "like" him, then it would not need to be live. There is a sense with our people that they need to experience the worship with their church family in real time. Theologically, folks will have issues. This is a disruptive technology for church. But I would hope that before we toss it all away we would approach it with wisdom and humility. Personally, I would like to see the Church grow through small, cost-effective ways like this and not just brick-and-mortar.
 
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