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 growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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