Record Breaking Ministry
The sky was going dark as we embarked on the second night of continuous football. It was the first and only time I had attempted to break a Guinness World Record and now I was starting to regret that I had ever begun.
Every limb in my body ached, blisters we forming in places I didn’t know existed. Just 12 more hours of running around, kicking a football and the world record would be broken. Banter had now turned to babble, enthusiasm had been traded for exhaustion.
I wondered whose idea was this and why did I agree to such a ridiculous challenge. I would love to say at that moment everything changed but we just had to press through, one step at a time, keep fuelling up, avoid injuries and play our part in the team. Sometimes in ministry or life we can get to the point where we wonder how we got into a certain situation, we can occasionally dream how we will get out of it, but more often than not we just need the resolve to keep going.
I would suggest there are 3 things that we need to remember that will help us keep going through difficult times in our life and ministry.
REMEMBER why we started
It’s so easy in the day to day grind to forget the reason you signed up in the first place. The football world record for us was simply a means, although a slightly crazy means, of raising funds to help reach young people with the Gospel.
During the dark hours as we stumbled around looking like anything other than record breakers, one of the supporters spoke out a word of prayer, prophetically imagining the impact we could have with the money we had raised. This was a wake up call, not that we had slept for 2 days, as to the purpose of the challenge.
Whatever situation you find yourself in it is vital to reflect, consider and remember your calling and why you started in the first place.
REMEMBER to keep the goal in sight
Focussing on the goal is an essential part of a football match but surprisingly easy to loose sight of in life and ministry. Looking good in the football kit, displaying a high level of fitness on the pitch or completing difficult skills with seeming ease can impress the people around us but the really purpose of a game is to put the ball in the back of the net.
In the testing times we can easily get drawn into so much activity that we get distracted from the real task. Sometimes we have been so busy and hit the ground running we haven’t taken the time to work out what the primary task is. A leader must not only focus on achieving the goal themselves, but their primary task is to keep the rest of the team focussed on the goal too.
Whether motivating the church in mission, helping new believers go deeper in their faith, seeing the church double in numbers and influence, running a house group or discipling young people. Don't forget what you are trying to achieve and don't let others around you forget either.
REMEMBER your training
Before embarking on the marathon football match I realised a serious training regime was necessary to help sustain me through the challenge. Despite the pre-training, it was also necessary to develop a routine during the game that sustained me. Ice baths, food intake, keeping loose on the exercise bike and stretching, were all essential to completing the challenge. To remain sharp and refreshed through the marathon of life and ministry, it is vital, not only to draw on the well of our previous training but also to develop a rhythm of regular input.
Where are the places you go to get refreshed? Who are the people that are challenging, inspiring or cheering you on? What are you reading to stop you getting stale?
As the score reached 902 – 798 and the giant clock ticked past the 48 hour mark and we had achieved our challenge. It was an adventure I would never forget and carry many scars to ensure I don't.
Question: What key things have helped you keep going through difficult times in life and ministry? Leave a comment below.