My wife Ashley, decided that it would be a great idea to repaint our patio furniture just in time for the warm Spring weather. Obviously this was not on my top “10 things To Do” list, but none the less my wife wanted it done. So, I went straight to work. If you know anything about repainting already painted furniture, then you know that it’s quite a process that involves several steps and patience. Without the patience part you will not get great results.
Of course, I wanted to get the entire project completed in one day because that’s just how I roll. I proceeded to sand down the table to scuff off the original paint and then shortly after that I began to spray a coat of primer. After the coat of primer I waited about 15 minutes and began to spray the color that we selected right over the primer. Everything seemed like it was going well and things looked rather promising, that is until I noticed that the primer wasn’t completely dry underneath therefore I wasn’t getting the greatest results. At this point I realized that I needed to slow my roll and take my time with this project if I wanted it to look great.
We sometimes tackle ministry the same way that I tackled this paint project. What do I mean? Well, when I first came to my new church as the youth pastor I was extremely overwhelmed at the load that was before me. I felt like there were several things that needed to be changed, adjusted, and somethings just placed on the altar of sacrifice. The problem with this was that I felt like everything had to be tackled on my first day on the job. I felt like I had to dive in and start bulldozing right away. Thank God that I didn’t and that He knocked some sense into me.
It’s not healthy to approach ministry from this angle. We’ve all heard it said that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your ministry. Maybe you’re leading or serving in a ministry in where much change needs to be implemented and you feel like you have to do it all now. I urge you to stop and slow your roll. It’s not healthy to introduce more that 20% change into any orginization within a year because if you turn the ship too fast you will lose a lot of people overboard.
Small, subtle, changes lead to big changes down the road, but you must be willing to be patient with change. It’s wise to take your time, gain the trust of the people, and move at a healthy speed. If the people don’t quite trust you just yet then any change you bring right away might create unnecessary waves. Take a deep breath, step back, ask the yourself what are some minor changes that you can make that will lead you to your destination. Great ministries are never created over night, they develop over a period of time and faithfulness.
Allow the Lord to guide you and build the house.
Psalm 127:1 (NIV) Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.