Success and Successful Change

When a ministry achieves what it defines as “success,” it arbitrarily builds a system around that success that promises to continue to feed and protect it. Find food, and fight off wolves. Repeat.

If the ministry continues to exist, over time the purpose of the system of sustenance and safety becomes a hard old wine skin. It may not spend time and energy looking for opportunity that could be possible through its replacement with a newer, more flexible structure, even if the change could mean that growth can continue in more directions than the one original.

When you encounter a bureaucracy that has been erected to protect a previous path of success, it is not likely that you will be successful describing new, better, more effective ways of doing things to it. If you do not sense that the Spirit of Jesus is instructing you to take up the work of maintenance, it is much more likely that He is calling you to build something new than it is that He would call you to demolish an old building and reclaim the ground it stood on for a new edifice.

Fear of leaving the familiar helps to strengthen the government that protects the past and wants to revive it to its former glory. If you are not called to maintain, but to build, you must overcome that fear. Fear of being accused of all sorts of evil by that ministry because they feel that your vision is an insult to theirs needs to be overcome also.

Read the stories of Nehemiah and Joshua and Ezra. Note that their resources had to come from pagans much of the time, since the religious bureaucracy exhausted their resources on themselves much of the time. Look for the strategies these heroes developed for side-stepping evil reports and false accusations.

See what’s past the deep waters. Go be awesome.

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