Now I know some people will laugh at this but whatever, judge me if you want. It dropped down to the 50’s in temperature and it was “freezing” so my wife and I set the thermostat (I live in Orange County, CA people. I’m used to going to the beach in February). Judge not, because it gave me this great thought about why I love thermostats. They can be set at a certain, consistent temperature.
In ministry there will be hot streaks where ministry is just on fire, it’s hot. Students are inviting friends, all of your sermons are killing it, all of your events are awesome, and you are even coming in under budget. Then there will be seasons in which things feel cold. Your numbers are down, all your events bombed and it feel like God is not even there in your group. Temperatures in ministry will always go up and down, but something I have noticed in ministry is that you can set a certain, constant temperature in ministry. There are some things you need in your ministry to make sure you set your tone and temperature so during the hot days you will be able to handle the heat and during the cold days you will be able to survive and get through them.
Thermostat setters in ministry are:
The leader’s quiet time – Something that will set the temperature of any ministry is the leader’s walk with the Lord. Chances are if the leader is not consistent and intimate in their own walk with the Lord their ministry is suffering in some similar way. When a leader is empty you can see it in how they interact with students, how they teach and preach and how they care of others in ministry. they could get through it without, but it’s a noticeable difference when they are feeding themselves. As the leader you set the tone of your ministry.
Consistent caring adult leaders – When there are caring adults in your ministry who are there loving on students when they walk in the door there is a set temperature of ministry there. When a student knows that when they walk into the room and they have multiple adults who care for them and want to pour into their lives, it’s a game changer. I add “consistent” in there because one of the best gifts we can give a student is time. Consistent time is huge for a student whose life is constantly changing. That is a set temperature in ministry.
1- on-1 time with students – There is something that is so special about a good 1-on-1 time with a student. Whether it is taking a student out for lunch, on your errands, or talking to students between services, that time to them is invaluable. Making time to meet with students as the pastor, or making it a high value for leaders to be doing the same thing (so you can cover more students and make sure all students can get this time) is thermostat type of ministry. If you can have a pulse on the lives of the majority of your students because you know what is going on in their lives, it will benefit every aspect of ministry. Your students will feel loved and cared for, you will know what students are going through and you can form teaching series and curriculum around those things and much more.
These things are some things that I think need to be set in place in order for a ministry to be a “thermostat” ministry. Making sure there is a constant, set temperature of ministry is a great thing to have when we all know too well how there are cold spots and heat waves in ministry.
What are some other thermostat settings in ministry you feel would set the tone?