When is the last time your ministry did something really bold? I don’t mean reckless, but bold. The word bold is defined as, “Fearless and daring; courageous.” If you’ve paid any attention at all to the other articles in this column, I’ve given many examples and opportunities for you to take bold action in your ministry.
The Holy Spirit put this word into me as I was driving back from the grocery store today. “Bold”. When I heard it, it took me immediately back to the first words I’d heard from God about beginning this Seed of Excellence ministry. He told me that I would begin a “New kind of ministry. Something that’s never been done. New, exciting, bold, and refreshing.” I believe our ministry fits everything He asked for.
Look at it this way, we’ve been conditioned through decades of corporate advertising, to anticipate and even expect newer, more improved, bolder, fresher things in our lives. While watching the Olympics the other night, I saw a new commercial for the 2005 Corvette. You’d have to know me to realize this, but I’m an absolute Corvette nut! I’ve loved them since I was a little boy and no, I won’t tell you what year that was! But when I saw the new body style of that piece of “art on wheels,” I flipped! To the untrained or uninterested eye, there may not appear that great of a difference between the old and new styles, but to me, there is a difference and it’s bold!
Back to my original question: When was the last time your ministry introduced its new “Corvette?” I don’t mean a shiny new program for the sake of a new program, but I mean something really new, really fresh and yes, bold. Something that no other ministry is doing and it fits yours like a glove.
I’ve not read anywhere in the scriptures where God called ministries to be made from a cookie-cutter. You know, there was a time when ministries didn’t even have nurseries. That’s right. I’m speculating that one Pastor probably decided that he just couldn’t compete with the healthy lungs of a distressed child and had a “crying room” built in the back of the sanctuary. From that evolved the nursery. That was bold, new, fresh! That is the level of quality improvement I’m praying for your ministry to be bold enough to create.
The focus and tone of this column is to try and convince you that you really, really, really (that’s 3 reallys!) need to step out in faith and try new things. It’s not a comfortable feeling. The Apostle Paul wrote about our empowerment to be bold when he wrote, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come BOLDLY to the throne of grace…” (Uppercase added for effect. Hebrews 4:15-16). Will more scripture help to convince you that God views boldness as a good quality for Christians? How about this one? “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” (Proverbs 28:1)
Once you’re convinced that your ministry has been “marking time” (that’s military for marching in place) long enough and it’s time to move forward, you have a few options to consider. First, you could just go do it. Whatever idea that’s been incubating in you for however many years could suddenly spring to life. Or, you could research some things other ministries are doing and develop a hybrid idea, or a variation of something that’s already being done. Or, even better yet, you could build a culture of “best thinking” within your ministry. Most of us have heard the business buzzword of “best practices.” Well, some may disagree, but I will BOLDLY state that you cannot achieve best practices without first achieving best thinking.
How does one establish that “best thinking” culture? I’m so glad you asked! It’s a facilitation technique we use at Seed of Excellence to foster a non-judgmental, free-exchange of ideas, in a focused setting. Essentially, what we do when we’re working with an organization’s staff, we have them respond to a list of key questions that are relative to the organization’s goals. Once we have individual answers, our facilitation method causes a “best answer” to emerge or surface from the individual responses. We establish consensus. It is rare when any group of people can achieve unanimity where there are issues of various topics, but consensus is achievable and very effective. Once consensus is achieved, your “best thinking” provides you the direction to make your bold move. It’s a great thing to experience.
Think a moment about something really exceptional that you would consider bold. Why can’t you do something like that? What’s holding you back from turning your ministry into a fearless, daring and courageous Corvette? It’s right at your fingertips. All you have to do is purpose in your heart to not be the same ‘ole ministry you were last week. Once you do that, the rest is really not difficult.
I’d like to share a prophesy that was given earlier this year and is manifesting itself all over the Body of Christ, perhaps even in your own ministry. Prophesy (paraphrased): There is coming THIS SUMMER, an unprecedented move of God. The likes of which we’ve never seen before. We’re all part of it.
It’s important to know that I am not saying this by faith, I can tell you by way of personal testimony that this prophesy is manifesting in both my personal life and ministry. God has once again asked us to be bold for His glory. He needs us to be bold. Right now. We all have a significant responsibility to receive and act on His unprecedented moves.