categories:, creativity, leadership, staff, working together
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July 18th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

10 comments (+ Add)

The Failure to Succeed

The failure to succeed is often one of the steps to success. Provided that it was not predicated with failure to try or failure to execute, sometimes things simply don’t work the way we had hoped or planned. The MOST important thing to understand is why. If you do not learn from your failures to succeed, you will never be able to make the appropriate changes or adjustments to ultimately succeed.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying it’s going to be fun to fail. Usually it stinks. But keep this in mind: you’re in good company. Any pioneer in any field is familiar with failure. Small businesses go bankrupt, web startups don’t get funded, research leads to inconclusive results, and manuscripts get turned down. But when individuals learn from those failures and persevere…that’s when big breakthroughs occur. If you create a culture where the failure to succeed is expected, then the people who’ve failed can spend time recalibrating, innovating and advancing instead of polishing up their resumes.

As believers, it’s tempting to interpret failure as a sign from God that it’s time to stop. By all means, do take those seasons to pray for guidance. But remember, too, that failure is actually a foundation of our faith. We all fall short of the glory of God, and that’s why we need Jesus. So as the Church, we shouldn’t just accept failure, we should embrace it as an undeniable part of who we are. That knowledge gives us freedom to attempt the impossible, to risk the unthinkable, and to accomplish the incredible things that God wants to do through us.

Have you created a culture at your church that embraces failure? How do you communicate this?

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  1. Jul 18, 2008 at 10:08 am

    my worse failure was also my greatest success. My last attempt at suicide was a failure. I decided that since I didn’t have anything or anyone to live for, there wasn’t any real reason to kill myself either. Best failure I ever had.(grin)

  2. 3Lori
    Jul 18, 2008 at 11:10 am

    My husband is a very successful business man who at any rate doesn’t see failure when working on a plan. He is definetly determined to make things work. Faliure scares me, I’ve been a christian my whole life and this is pretty much what I would do without praying earnestly or mabey I prayed earnestly just when things looked down so did my faith, at any rate I would shatter his attempts to start his own company by feeling this and sharing it with him mabey God’s trying to tell you something. But it was me being scared to fail. As Christians we do tend to do that. I am working on that, and my husband’s business is still going strong, Yes we’ve had times when it was pretty scary and that feeling would come up inside me and I would want to say see I told you, God told you too but then God would send that calming spirit over me and reassure me that as long as we put him first and ask for his guidance that faliure or success was measured by him. So I know that when we fail at something we should get up and try again using what we see as our faliures as a learning experience and guide to our next attempt at success. To Jimmy, I’m so glad you didn’t have a success in your attempt to end your life. You made me smile too! God has BIG plans for your life.

  3. Jul 18, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Good article Bobby,
    I am going to have to add it to my weekly roundup, Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Jul 19, 2008 at 12:16 am

    This was a real encouragement to me. Thanks!

  5. Jul 19, 2008 at 10:37 am

    [...] did an interesting series on failure this week. I wonder if this would fall under the [...]

  6. Jul 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    [...] You can find the whole article here. [...]

  7. Jul 20, 2008 at 6:58 am

    [...] Failure is often a step to success [...]

  8. Jul 20, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    [...] A Series of Great Posts about Failure from Swerve Bookmark and Share: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  9. Jul 21, 2008 at 6:56 am

    My wife and I will be the first missionaries sent out by our new church…less than 5 years old. Our Pastors have told us that it was ok to fail….not that we expect to! But it was cool when they said, “You don’t have to feel like you have to make mom and dad proud. Just do what God is telling you to do. Go for it.” Just like everything else, the culture begins from the top and the top has to be secure enough to see failure as a potential stepping stone and not just an utter failure. This releases the person trying something new to really go for it…knowing they will be accepted no matter what happens.