Another valuable lesson often learned by church leaders on the field, is to understand the difference between their goals and their desires.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,
“Do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Here we learn the simple but life changing truth that God means for us to focus our attention and our energies and worries primarily on the goals that we can do something about today, and then trust him with all those things that are out of our control for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that lie ahead.
In church ministry, the task before us can feel so overwhelming that you easily feel like one person standing with a small ax, looking at a massive forest. The task can be paralyzing, unless you learn how to set a reasonable goal for cutting down just a few trees for each day. Then give yourself each day. Not to fulfilling your desire to remove the whole forest, but to accomplish just that daily goal of taking down those few trees. Only then can you be free from the crushing demands of the whole forest.
Understanding the difference between your goals and desires can help set you free from a life of anxiety and fear.
Your goals should be defined as those things that are within your control, relatively speaking, while your desires are not in your control. Under this definition, if you want to have 10 people become Christians and be baptized in your church this year, that would be a desire, but not a goal, because you cannot control that outcome. What you must learn to think and to say is that your desire is to have 10 people trust in Christ and be baptized in your church this year, but your goal is to do things like set aside regular times to pray for the lost. Make so many contacts with people in your community every week, train six people in Evangelism. Have three Evangelistic gathering events.
The key is that you learn to work hard toward your goals and pray hard for your desires.
Now the value of this approach is that it serves to remind you that the outcome of your ministry ultimately rests with God and not you. One of the reasons many dropout of the ministry is because they have never learned the simple distinction between goals and desires. Their desires become their goals. When their desires are not met, for whatever reason, they become angry, bitter, depressed, and frustrated. But there is a freedom and a peace about ministry that can be yours.
If you will learn this lesson, regarding how to understand the difference between your goals and desires, so that you as a way of life are always working hard towards your goals and praying hard for your desires, always keeping them separate.
Registration closes July 15