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December 9th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

29 comments (+ Add)

Successful Ministry - 2

Do the Small Things Daily

When working with pastors, many are often looking for a “big win.” They want to have a big community event, a big servants’ banquet, or a big series that runs attendance higher.

While all these can be effective, I encourage consistency in the small things daily.

I’ll compare it to football. Most championship teams win games on many four-yard, six-yard, and eleven-yard gains. They might win one game a season on a last second hail-Mary pass, but most games consistently succeeding at the basics.

The same is true in ministry. Successful ministries are built on Christ by leaders who do the small things daily:

  • They return calls and emails promptly.
  • They show up on time.
  • They pray for God’s guidance.
  • They love and serve people.
  • They study hard and preach passionately.
  • They have a consistent and strong work ethic.
  • They follow through on commitments.

You could hope for the perfect mailer, plan the killer youth event, or pray for a news story to build your church…or you could move the ball forward one play at a time doing the small things with integrity daily.

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there are a total of29
  1. Dec 9, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Great reminder… “It’s about blocking, tackling and moving the ball forward; blocking, tackling and moving the ball forward…”

    As ministry leaders we have to truly honor, care about and take care of our staff; who in return will honor and take care of the volunteers; who will in return take care of the church; who will in return do what the Samaritan lady did, tell everyone to “Come See!”

  2. Dec 9, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Craig
    Great blog. It took me years to learn the lesson. Building a Church or Ministry is a process not an event. Keep up the great work.
    chris

  3. 3txmom4
    Dec 9, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Craig, you obviously have such a huge heart for ministry! I love that you said this: “doing the small things with integrity daily.”

    And I especially love this: “They love and serve people.” It gave me warm fuzzy feelings when I read it, because I believe you still do it. That is a huge breath of fresh air because a lot of pastors who reach your level of “success” don’t anymore.

    I am a stay-at-home mother of four kids are all in school during the day this year (woohoo!). So I spend a lot of time feeding on God’s word and watching different church sermons. I just want to let you know how much God has blessed me (and those I tell about it)through your ministry at Lifechurch.tv. You truly love God and love people. I thank God for you and Amy and your ministry!

  4. Dec 9, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Thanks Craig for pointing out some great “musts” in ministry. The common thread for me is to put others first in my actions. It’s a great lesson for anyone in their daily lives. If we were able to do this, we could truly be “world changers” not only in ministry, but in our personal lives as well.

  5. 5Ian
    Dec 9, 2008 at 8:09 am

    “pray for a news story to build your church”

    UGH, Is that really happening in churches?

  6. Dec 9, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Thanks Craig,

    This helped me a lot. As a church plant that is only a little over a year and half old; it’s easy for me to get blinded by the “big” churches and forget that being faithful in the little things will make a difference. So often we are looking for the silver bullet.

    Luke 16:10 - if we are are faithful with the little stuff we will be faithful when we have a lot. I wonder if the reason our churches struggle is because we as leaders haven’t learned the lesson of being faithful in the little things?

    I think we all could take the week ahead and make sure we are doing the little things well.

  7. Dec 9, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Awesome Post! This makes me think of Jesus…walking out his ministry…one person…one group…one town..one village…one miracle…one prayer at a time.

    Could you imagine what a negative impact He would have had if he came into town like a circus… passing out flyers, putting on the Jesus “variety show and healing hour and banquet”, interviewing with the town gossip for praise, having auditions for the 12 disciples….it makes me think sometimes….we are drowning out the voice of God with useless noise!

  8. Dec 9, 2008 at 8:48 am

    I remember when Lifechurch was in a warehouse that used to be a bike shop. That’s when I first started going there. It was good to see the passion, integrity, and love, as well as get solid teaching, and passionate worship… when I went to church I knew God was the audience!

    I watched it grow exponentially, because I saw leaders exampling what their time with God produced, and it filtered to the people attending…

    That is why God made LifeChurch grow(IMHO)… because its leaders were faithful, passionate… and its members couldn’t wait to tell their neighbors where to find God, and when the neighbors got there… God was there at home in the people…

    “He who is faithful with little, more will be given”…

    Everyone in ministry wants to see their church grow deep down inside… even if they don’t know it, or won’t say it…

    We can sew, water, and plant… but only God can make it grow!

    You are right Craig… its the little things that make a difference!

  9. 9Judy
    Dec 9, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Very good advice….

  10. Dec 9, 2008 at 9:12 am

    It’s amazing what happens when you do the small things well.

  11. Dec 9, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Also, there is just no substititute for the teacher of experience. Faithfully working through each day, loving on people in good and bad times, giving your best, all teach us endurance, faithfulness - things that perhaps can only be formed in us through experience. Character is what keeps things going when times are tough, not the ability to pull off another grand Sunday. Obviously our gifts and abilities are important and God given, but they must be married to deeper things of the heart like proven character, deep and abiding love, joyous service, enduring faith, and a passion for God.

  12. Dec 9, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Small things, done right, every day, consistantly. I think it’s called diligence.
    I’d rather have a short cut, but I know something would be missed: A lesson, an experience, a character trait.
    Great post.

  13. 13JB
    Dec 9, 2008 at 10:15 am

    People deserve to be known by their pastor. I study their pictures in order to learn their names and their stories. Few things demonstrate your care more than knowing your people.

  14. Dec 9, 2008 at 10:37 am

    IMHO this post speaks volumes. ‘Nuff said.

  15. Dec 9, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I like the football analogy of just doing the little things consistently play after play, and game after game.

    The NFL’s leading rusher, Emmitt Smith, rushed for 18,355 yards but it took him over 4400 attempts to get there. That’s just a little over four yards per carry. What if he had given up after his first rushing attempt because it wasn’t ‘the big one’? Instead he kept averaging four yards per carry time after time after time. That kind of consistency builds great results in football and in church.

  16. Dec 9, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Love it Craig, really simple examples that can change the whole atmosphere of leadership. Wtg on challenging us.

  17. Dec 9, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Would this also apply to becoming a pastor as well? Should people do small steps (like Youth Minister to Associate Minister to Senior Minister) to become a minister in a the same church? Or small steps from 50 person church to a different 100 person church to a different 220 person church, etc.? Or is this something completely different?

  18. Dec 9, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Just had another thought. Since our church has been using the Life Church teaching. I have been able to focus on the small but often overlooked things in our church. We have realized the benefits already.

    For pastors that feel like they can’t focus on the small things think about using one of Craig’s video messages to give you a break to work on the small things which are really the big things. The benefits will far outweigh any thing you give up. I am glad to talk to anyone about how using the LC Open materials has helped our church. thefallz@gmail.com

  19. 20Jared B
    Dec 9, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Very good post…this is definitely something that I love to hear, because it keeps me on track.

    Once I again I know why God has blessed LifeChurch.tv. The leadership is on course [on the right course].

    God bless!

  20. Dec 9, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Craig,
    Yet another challenging post right where I’m at (and many others it seems). Thankyou! I love the ideas you put forward about basic faithfulness in ministry. I’ve often looked for the next big thing but am (very slowly) coming to the conclusion that faithfulness is the key to lasting fruit.
    You rock!

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  22. Dec 9, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    If only we could grasp just how powerful a revelation this is! Thanks for the reminder.

  23. 24JD
    Dec 9, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    These are the little things that make a big difference. Several authors have pointed out 20% of what you actually do delivers 80% of your results. I would suggest that the things you have listed here are part of that 20% that really makes a huge difference. People will not remember every sermon you ever preached, in fact they may not even remember the sermon you preached last week, but they will remember the card, the phone call, the promise kept.

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