God uses people of faith. The Bible says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). The Bible also says, “Whatever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23 NASB95). As a leader, you need to learn how to be a person of faith.
God uses the leader who expects the church to grow.
The difference between failure and success is often one thing: attitude. Enthusiasm is an essential attitude for church growth. Enthusiasm is much more than positive thinking. Enthusiasm comes from two Greek words, en and theos. Theos is the word for God. En theos means that if you get in God, you’ll be enthusiastic. The more you tap into God’s power, trusting in him, the more enthusiastic you become.
I hope you get this:
You get to choose how you will respond to what happens in your life and your ministry.
You might be facing all kinds of problems in your ministry or in your personal life. Right now Satan is planning ways to discourage you, to take away your enthusiasm. Here’s my plea:
Never let an impossible situation intimidate you.
Instead, let it motivate you to pray more, believe more, trust more, expect more, and rely on God more. Matthew 9:29 is one of my favorite verses: “According to your faith let it be done to you” (NIV). I love it because you get to choose to have faith.
Why does God use me? One reason is that I expect him to. It’s not because of who I am but who Jesus is. It’s not because of what I do but what Jesus Christ has already done. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (NKJV). God is looking for people to use.
God uses the leader who is persistent.
Leaders model persistence. They are the last to give up. They are the last to jump ship. They refuse to quit. Somebody once asked Wellington, “What is the secret of the British army?” He said, “It is their ability to fight five minutes longer than anybody else.” Here’s one secret to success:
Outlast your critics.
Outlasting your critics is necessary for success. I don’t know how to quit. I think that’s one of the characteristics God has used in my life. I’m persistent. How do you get to be a giant oak tree? An oak tree is just a little nut that refused to give its ground.
Great people are just ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of determination.
I once did a study and discovered that the average pastor leaves a church because of eight people. I was shocked! Only eight people? What does it take to discourage you? If critics makes you want to give up and say, “Forget it, God. I’m not going to serve you anymore,” the Bible says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
You’re never a failure until you give up.
It’s always too soon to quit. Why? Because failure is never final. Here is another one of my favorite verses: “Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” (Proverbs 24:16 NIV).
Even good guys fail sometimes. Though a righteous person falls, he rises again.
I’ve done more things at Saddleback Church that didn’t work than did. We’re not afraid of failure. We call it an experiment. After a failure, we say, “Well, we tried that. That didn’t work. Let’s try something else.” You keep trying and trying until something finally works. All of a sudden, the church starts growing. God uses the person who never gives up.
If you make yourself usable, God will do great things in and through your life.
Doesn’t your church deserve that kind of leader?