categories: accountability, leadership
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July 17th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

12 comments (+ Add)

Temptations of Success (4 of 5)

Another temptation of success is to “keep doing what you’ve been doing.” Maybe God blessed your “seeker style ministry”… or your “small group outreaches”… or your “youth pizza, couples skating, lock-in parties.”

Just because God blessed something you did last year doesn’t mean that’s what He wants you to do this year.

The longer we do ministry, the harder it is to be open to change. And the more success we’ve had recently, the more we’re tempted to trust the model… instead of the Giver of the model.

If what you’re doing is working great now, ride the wave. But, stay open to anything new God wants to do through you.

How do you stay fresh and keep your growing edge?


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  1. Jul 17, 2008 at 5:22 am

    Can I identify with this post Craig! I think one of the best lines is “The longer we do ministry, the harder it is to be open to change. And the more success we’ve had recently, the more we’re tempted to trust the model… instead of the Giver of the model.” It is so easy to coast along, living on past laurels. I find myself having to be shaken out of a funk occasionally by reality checks. How do I stay fresh? I like to read. I read blogs (like yours). I like interaction with other pastors and also lay people (almost said normal people) :)

  2. Jul 17, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Oh, man!

  3. Jul 17, 2008 at 8:17 am

    I read alot but my favorite way is to observe others and talk to other leaders and hear from them…….and I try to evaluate all the time too……

  4. 4Judy
    Jul 17, 2008 at 8:24 am

    One thing that frustrates me the most is that we keep doing the same thing just for the sake of doing something. This is major in a small church.
    Change always brings freshness. Change something regularly, even if it is a simple change.

  5. Jul 17, 2008 at 9:06 am

    so true Craig…what got you here, usually won’t get your there.

    This sounds easy but often times a large church gets in the trap of because they are large they are “supposed” to be out front leading…therefore they can’t ask for help…people should be asking them.

    Here are a few ideas…would love to hear some other ideas

    1. How about an infusion of younger voices…
    2. A congregational survey finding out where everyone is.
    3. 360 degree evaluations
    4. Taking the whole staff to another growing church to intentionally learn

  6. Jul 17, 2008 at 9:51 am

    I think for me along with this I struggle with doing something new because maybe it wasn’t my idea or we have heard of another church doing it somewhere else. In other words, sometimes I feel that if I didn’t originally come up with the idea then we shouldn’t do it. Not necessarily out of pride (maybe) but more out of a mentality that we have to “do” something original and new.

    And then I read Ecclesiastes.

  7. Jul 17, 2008 at 10:02 am

    And… when you’re in a rut, you spend a lot of time fighting your way through the silt and sediment at the bottom, and every once in a while the whole place fills up with mucked up dirty water.

  8. Jul 17, 2008 at 10:06 am


    I stay close to the Bible 1st. 2nd I read a lot-authors like you, Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels & John Maxwell, etc… I listen to messages by others. I read & participate on blogs. I go to conferences ( I can’t wait for Catalyst). I listen to my wife & my kids. I visit other chuches & watch well run businesses. I’m constantly learning.

  9. Jul 17, 2008 at 10:12 am

    How we avoid getting stuck in a rut is to limit the run time of all activities outside the main worship service. We build our programmes based on 4-8 week blocks and each small group/ministry leader must submit a proposal of what the block will involve. This way it places a challange on the ministry leader to keep it fresh and take off the burden of it being a perpetual need to do the humdrum if it’s past it’s best. We will also rotate and purposefuly pull for a period perenial favourites just to give leaders an inspiration break.
    I just hope we can keep this freshness as we grow.

  10. Jul 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    I ask the Lord to keep me open to new or different things. In my denomination there is a prescribed way of everything. Recently, we launched a new service on Saturday with watchful eyes and our congregation nearly doubled the first weekend. It was great to see God at work! Now I want to be sure that when we need to tweak it or take a new approach that I will get out of the way and let Him direct!

  11. Jul 21, 2008 at 7:02 am

    I like connecting with people who are not normally in my circle of people. It keeps me on my toes as I recognize the larger Body of Christ and see how God is working in and through other groups that love Him just as much as my group does, maybe more!

  12. Jul 24, 2008 at 11:03 am

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