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
"The guests perceived some of the church members were faking it." Some of that is due to personality types. I'd imagine most existing members who are introverts would come across as "faking" it when greeting guests, because they probably are faking it to a degree. Doesn't mean they're not sincere, they're just uncomfortable as well. "Boring or bad service." IOW, not entertaining enough. Not sure if that's necessarily a bad thing.
 
— Rico
 
I'm really trying to understand the widespread opposition to greeting each other. I am a Catholic and we have a time in the mass where we wish each other peace - no personal information, just peace. Regardless, can people honestly say they come to the house of the Lord and are surrounded by their brothers and sisters and take offense or find it wrong to greet each other in His house? Awkward or shy or whatever it is called, it seems like that would be a time to be able to get past that and at least say hello.
 
— Jillian
 
A lot of comments were criticizing types of worship that they didn't like. Remember that different churches meet the needs of different people. You might like hymns, but someone else likes loud praise team songs. You might like in-depth sermons and others might like something lighter. Those differences were not what this article was about. People of various denominations looking for various worship experiences had ten similar things to say about looking for a church. Wandering into a tongues-filled church is far different than wandering into a KJV 1611 church then being disappointed. ALL churches should work on having clean and safe areas for children. My husband and I actually changed churches before we had children because our home church nursery was far from being clean and safe. ALL churches should work to have clear information about service times and directions on their websites/signs. ALL churches should encourage their members to be genuinely friendly. These are things that should be found regardless of one's personal taste in what they want from a church. It would be nice if websites had a sort of "what to expect" page for visitors as far as when services start, what they usually consist of, how children are handled, what to expect for communion or other rituals. This would make people feel welcomed. It's just like when you have someone in your home. You tell them where the bathroom is. You show them where to put their purse so your pet doesn't get into it. You point out drinkware and beverages. I think that many churches EXPECT that people will know what to do, but it can be very confusing going to a new church, even of the same denomination. Not knowing what to do can make people very uncomfortable. There's no reason not to make every effort to make everyone feel comfortable in church. And if a church does ALL it can and a person doesn't come back, it's not that the person is somehow unloving towards God. It could just be that the church wasn't what the person was looking for. This article was pointing out ways that churches could do better. I would like to comment about the whole "this is my pew" problem. A lot of schools have gone to randomly assigning seating from day to day in the lunchroom. This breaks up cliques and helps everyone feel included. Kids get to meet different kids than they might if they just sat at the same table all the time. Just think how it would be at church if everyone was encouraged to rotate where they sat and to never sit in the same pew in the same month. Talk about shaking things up!!
 
— Emalyn
 

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