Our church’s 5 year anniversary is in 33 days and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. So I decided it might be helpful to someone out there if I shared what were the biggest mistakes we have made since we started. Since I don’t want my self esteem to go into the toilet, I’m also going to write 33 posts about the stuff we did right (if we can think of that many). What’s amazing is that thinking of the mistakes were a lot easier.
Well, here goes… (By the way, these are in no particular order)
#1 – I placed people in positions based on their potential, not on proven character.
I wish I could say that I only made this mistake once, but I have made it several times. When you are planting a church, you need people to help in many areas and when someone expresses an interest in serving, you usually let them serve. Now they might have a few "issues", but you let it slide because you think you can corral them. You know they can make a great contribution for the kingdom, but they have not proven their character in their daily walk with God. (Of course, I’m not talking about entry level ministry positions, I’m referring to roles where the person is speaking into the lives of others and/or leading a group or people.)
If you’ve made this mistake, here’s the good news: you have an ability to see the potential in people. Here’s the bad news: acting on that can and will get you into trouble at times. Here’s my advice: wait! I know you need help. But if you will wait, you will see a person’s true colors. If that means they aren’t ready, you’ll see that. If it means they really are, you will see that as well. But when you are impatient as I have been at times, the results are disastrous. So let the person prove their maturity and character for a season, then let them lead.
"Let them prove themselves first. If they show they can do it, take them on." (1 Timothy 3:10 MSG)