Imagine with me that you were planting a church. Over the last few months, you have held interest meetings, you have built your team, you have advertised and marketed your first service in the community. You chose a meeting time and place; you have invited people to your new church. Months of build up have led to your first service. But on that first Sunday, you sleep through your alarm and miss the service. What would happen to all of the people who showed up to be a part of your new church only to find you were not there? What would happen if the doors were locked, the parking lot was closed, and none of your team was there to welcome them? I can tell you that if I was one of those people, I would never come back. I would no longer trust you; as a matter of fact, I would be angry with you for wasting my time. The reality is that no matter how good you are, if you aren’t consistent, people will not trust you. You can be an amazing leader, but if you don’t show up when you say you will, follow through on your promises, and act consistently, no one will follow you. Consistency is the most important part of your ministry.
Consistency is, by definition, steadfast adherence to the same form, course, or principles. Basically, consistency is about being committed to a course of action. You can have an incredible plan for ministry, but if you do not consistently adhere to that plan, it is of no value. You can have amazing systems in place, but if those steps are not carried out, that system is nothing more than a document on your computer or a piece of paper in a file. Consistent action is the foundation of a fruitful ministry.
There are countless blogs, books, and articles written every year that are designed to help you grow your church and ministry. There are tips, tricks, and magic bullets that promise success. These secrets themselves vary wildly depending on who is writing them; some people believe it’s all about being on the cutting edge, while others believe it’s about sticking to the traditions that our ministries were founded on. Some people believe the key is attracting the right kind of people, while others believe it’s about hiring the right staff. Everyone seems to have a different opinion, and yet everyone believes they are right! It’s pretty funny.
Over the years, I’ve done ministry and seen it done in many different cultures and settings. Not everyone had my philosophy for ministry, but their methods seemed to work for them just as my systems worked for me. There was one thing we had in common, however, and that was consistency. I have noticed that the strategy and the method is important, but not nearly as important as your commitment to them. It is not enough to chart your course; you must also commit to seeing it through.
In his book The Power of Consistency, Weldon Long writes, “Do the little things well, and the big things will inevitably happen.” Success and fruitfulness in ministry is not about perfection, it is about consistency. Chart your course, make your plans, and then commit wholeheartedly to seeing them through.
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