Too often in ministry we look for the short term gains rather than charting a course for long term success. The problem with this is that it often results in regular shifts in emphasis which confuses our constituency and keeps us from moving in a single, clear, healthy direction over the long term. Staff often see it as the flavor of the month approach - which it is - and become cynical at worst and nonchalant to the latest thing at best.
Healthy leaders are not enamored by the short term but want to chart a course for long term stability, health and ministry impact. This is a harder leadership for it requires deeper thinking and long term focus. It requires a picture of the future that is clear, an understandable path to get there and the resolve to stay the direction for long term gain.
This may well mean that ministry results in terms of numbers are not fast. But fast results are often shallow results and can disappear as fast as they appeared. Flash attracts but when it is gone, so are the people. Long term discipleship, relationships and clarity grow slower but last a great deal longer with deeper impact.
I am far less interested in where a ministry wants to be in one year than I am in ten years and if they cannot answer the latter I know they are banking on short term gains at the expense of long term wins. Which are you focused on?
(Posted from High Point, NC)