Why Your Ministry Should be Messy (at least a little)

For me, one of the great challenges of Church Leadership is the tension of not getting everything done that I would like to get done every day.  With several billion people on the planet who still need to be reached, I may not get to check everything off my “to-do” list before the day is over.  Let’s face it, if we are committed to reaching and disciplining people, things are going to get a little messy.

The great king/philosopher Solomon said it like this:

“Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.”
– Proverbs 14:4

We all have to resist the temptation to make the church a place with the primary purpose of “keeping the stables clean” instead of our God-given purpose of reaping a harvest.   We may feel a little more in control if we focus on “keeping our stables clean” but our church will never reach it’s full redemptive potential.

The great car racer/philosopher Mario Andretti said it like this

“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”

I’m not saying we should take this to an extreme.  Mario Andretti took pit stops in every race and even the cattle were to observe The Sabbath.  But I am saying that a ministry that is moving forward will be (and maybe should be) messy (at least a little).

So let’s take seriously our God-given responsibility to plan and prepare and let’s also not be a afraid of the mess from time to time.


P.S. For more on the Sabbath check out check out my resource “Leadership Skills For A Growing Church.”  And yes, that’s a picture of my messy desk above!

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyLeadership

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