Working ON the ministry vs IN the ministry

As an entrepreneur, leading an organization of worship coaches, it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds. Like I’m looking for my lost driver in a game of disc golf.


You know, stuck in the details, the dailies, the demands.


And it’s all good stuff. It has to get taken care of. I like a lot of it.


But being mired in the urgent keeps me from being able to look further ahead and do the things that are most significant. Sound familiar?


Like do you focus more on “Getting Sunday done” or setting your sites on “what should this look like in 10 years - who does God want these people to become?”


Can you articulate it? With clarity? In a compelling way?


“People tend to overestimate what can be done in one year and to underestimate what can be done in five or ten years.”


I just listened to an audiobook called Atomic Habits by James Clear. It’s all about making tiny changes that add up. He says “It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.”


So for example, “It is so easy to overestimate the importance of Sunday mornings and underestimate the value of actually playing through a song before rehearsal.”


And if you were going to build your dream house, even if you didn’t have budget restrictions, you’d still need a plan, a blueprint.


So take a moment and think about where you are going. Ask God to clear your windshield of the mud spattered up by driving in the weekly trench and give you His heart for His people. What is your worship ministry to become?


During one of my staff positions, I articulated it this way:


We are a family of worshipers full of faith to walk in freedom.

  • I wanted us to avoid the utilitarian language of “volunteers” and use language that speaks of belonging and covenant so I called us a family.
  • If our worship team isn’t full of worshipers, we’re in trouble. Sure I want us to be musicians and leaders. But first things first. Being worshipers is our core. So we’re a family of worshipers.
  • Faith is a funny thing. If we’d rate our own “faith level” we’d likely be all over the map - sometimes on the same day! To say that we’re “full of faith” probably feels disingenuous on many days. But we’re prophesying to ourselves - speaking those things of ourselves that are not as if they were. (in the spirit of Romans 4:17)
  • One thing that holds many teams back is a lack of simply walking in freedom. I’m not talking about doing whatever you want, whatever pleases you. (This is worship we’re talking about, which is all about pleasing Him) But from responding freely, to inspiring freedom in our congregations, to the joy of walking in freedom, I want my teams to walk like they are free. Like they are. Galatians 5:1 #YokeFree, baby!

One last thing. Writing a phrase like this won’t change your ministry by next month. But it’s a seed. And a seed contains all the information to become a tree. Look for something marvelous to show up a few years from now.