Recently I dropped my new phone and broke the screen. The
manufacturer gave me the choice to "new or renew." Getting a new
phone would've been easier and quicker -- but a lot more expensive.
To get mine fixed was complex and required a longer wait, but it
was a whole lot less expensive. I chose to get "renewed."
Too many people throw away good stuff because they don't want to
deal with the work involved in renewal. This is true in life and in
ministry. But if, as a leader, you aren't practicing renewal,
you'll jump from project to project and wear out your team in the
meantime. Here's how to make renewal a core component of your
• Renew your thinking. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer
to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of
your mind." Evaluate your thinking by God's Word. Is it your
instinct to scrap people, programs, or teams rather than seeing
them in a new way through God's eyes?
• Mature in your approach. One of the biggest
obstacles to renewal is something I call too many babies in the
crib -- the tendency to begin too many projects too quickly. Let
your programs grow and mature before you add a new baby.
There are four stages of birth. Conception stage brings
anticipation. Birth stage delivers excitement. Nurture stage is a
season of growth and demand. (Think poop, feeding, and teething;
this is where temptation often arises to scrap what you've got and
build something new.) The fourth stage, maturity, is where
leadership and influence gain momentum and credibility. People
listen because you have a track record.
• Step, don't leap. God leads us in single
steps. Big things don't happen overnight -- to hold that
expectation is to set yourself up for misery in ministry. We all
must learn the power and importance of a single step.
Over the years I've heard many leaders argue for new over renew.
It may seem easier to toss what you've got and start something --
or someone -- new. But if you want to build an enduring ministry
that truly serves people and honors God, you've got to be willing
to do the hard, often unglamorous work involved in renewal.
Jim Wideman (www.jimwideman.com) is the author of Volunteers
That Stick (Group) and a children's ministry speaker and
Leadership can be stressful in itself, never mind dealing with
people who drain and discourage you. Authors Shaun Blakeney and
Wallace Henley guide readers to become leaders who inspire and help
turn around taxing relationships. $14.99; Baker Books; www.bakerbooks.com
If you're feeling drained and spiritually dry, recharge by
renewing your relationship with God this season.
• Put your spiritual wellness first. Take time
to reset your priorities and refocus. Are you spending enough time
on your relationship with God? If not, what changes can you
• Take mini-breaks. Set aside short bursts of
time each day to rest and reflect. You don't have to leave your
office -- just sit, close your eyes, and enjoy a few seconds of
• Evaluate activities. Make a list of the tasks
you do that add value to your ministry and those that simply take
time. Set a goal to cut the items on the second list in half in one
week through delegation, elimination, or reorganization.
Organizations with established family volunteering programs list
the key advantages to their programs as bigger volunteer pools,
increased diversity, and higher community exposure.
Source: Volunteer Bénévoles Canada