Momentum is Crucial to Success
Life has a way of throwing you curveballs. My friend, Martijn, mentioned last week that we were supposed to be together in South America with Sam Chand and the event that we've been working on for several months together with our wives. Beth and I were scheduled to fly out Saturday morning at 6 am. Friday night at around 7 o’clock, I pulled our passports out of my closet and took a quick peek. I then proceeded to say, “oh my word. Beth, mine expires the day we're supposed to fly back.” I cut it close, and then I opened hers up. Hers expired 3 days prior to that date.I immediately started to panic. I called the state department and asked what we could do. At the end of the day, you have to have a valid passport to leave the country and especially to get back in. Sometimes plans change and you feel like you lose momentum.
I want to express to you guys for just a few moments about that word momentum. It’s a word I've been thinking through a lot the last couple of weeks; it's a word that you'll probably hear me talk a lot about in 2019. It's a word that I've been wrestling through in my mind a lot the last two weeks because I am as committed as ever in my personal life, in my ministry at my church, in all the things that I do, and in my life work.
I don't want to lose. I don't want to be a statistic. Did you know that people that study churches and church growth say that 85% of churches have either plateaued or they are in decline? 8 out of 10 churches: drive down the road and count them up. There's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 8 out of 10 (really 9 out of 10) have either plateaued, they have spinned at the same place for some time, or they are in decline. This means that more than likely (not always but the majority of the time) they are being led by a leader that has either plateaued or declined. Because growing organizations, growing companies, growing churches, and growing children's ministries are led by (although they're all led by a growing leader, you get a ministry or a company that is flat lined or a ministry or business that is in decline) more than likely it is being led by a leader that is in decline.
I don't want to be that person, and that's what I've been wrestling with. In my own ministry at my church and in my life work, I don't want to plateau; I don't want to be in decline. I am equally committed to helping each of you, the children's ministry community, and the people that God has given me to influence; I'm equally committed to helping you stay on a growth curve to avoid plateaus and decline. For that to happen, it is going to require you to build momentum.
I started rereading this week John Maxwell's book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership because he addresses momentum in this book. I've been reading articles online about momentum, and how necessary it is in each of our lives. If you have good momentum going in your life (and we all know what good momentum feels like), then all of a sudden a hurdle or a problem comes your way and it doesn't get you down, you have good momentum. But if you don't have good momentum, if you lack momentum, those problems can cripple you.
A lack of good momentum will cause you sleepless nights. Do any of you deal with sleepless nights? Isn't it something how problems always seem worse at night? I can be fine during the day and all of a sudden I wake up in the middle of the night, and then I lay there and my problems grow ten times worse. However, if I'm at a point in my life and in my ministry where there's a bunch of good momentum, it seems like I don't have as many sleepless nights. It seems like I don't have as many dreadful days. When I am dreading going into the office, dreading being around those people, dreading to plan this Sunday, and I am dreading putting this together, that’s when I lack good momentum.
Martjin talks about this: Sometimes it feels like pushing cooked spaghetti. Try pushing cooked spaghetti; it's very hard. But when you have good momentum, all of a sudden, you’re ready to go and conquer the world.
Your #1 fan,