For Ministry Leaders: Thoughts on Regaining Momentum

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“Was it the first push? The second? The fifth? The hundreth” No! It was all of them added together in an overall accumulation of effort applied in a consistent direction. Some pushes may have been bigger than others, but any single heave – no matter how large – reflects a small fraction of the entire cumulative effect upon the flywheel.”

Jim Collins, Good to Great

Just before the arrival of COVID-19, our church was finally experiencing a little momentum with small groups. We had tried to get what we call Community Groups going several times in the past, but to no avail. For a variety of reasons, we couldn’t get traction.

But finally, with the right leadership in place and with lessons learned from past mistakes, our groups ministry seemed to be taking root. Alas, our folks were going to have the opportunity for community that had been sorely missing in our church for a long time.

Then it happened. Quarantine, shutdown, etc.

And now we’re faced with the daunting challenge of regaining lost momentum – not just with our Community Groups but with the ministry in its entirety. A year-and-a-half ago, we were rolling along pretty well, having gradually gained momentum built over the previous months and years.

Now it feels like we’re going uphill with a flat tire. Clunkity clunk.

Will we ever regain momentum? Is it gone forever?

If you’re in ministry leadership, I suspect this question has nagged your thoughts as well. And while the question is pending, hanging over our heads like a cloud, I’m afraid there is a certain level of despair and despondency that goes with it.

Obviously, we’re not out of the woods yet and many of our problems are unresolved, but perhaps it would be good for us to take the opportunity to answer the question. And as people of faith and hope, we have the basis to answer the question in the affirmative. Rather than an ambivalent “Not sure how this will shake out…we’ll see,” how about if we say “Yes, we will regain ministry momentum again. God willing, we will get back to where we once were and even beyond.”

Some might say this perspective is naive and does not account for the new normal. More importantly, however, this perspective does take into account the record of Scripture as well as volumes of church history which present a church resilient, bouncing back time and again after being laid low by adversity. Like Jesus said,

“…on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

-Matthew 16:18

Ministry leader, thank you for doing what you do in Jesus’ Name. Your perseverence is inspiring.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

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