Too Many Voices

Multitudes of self-proclaimed experts are clamoring for your attention to show you the "right way" to do ministry. How do you know whom to listen to?

Many of our local churches are orderly, life-giving ministries. Their systems are in place, their congregations are growing, and the Spirit of God is moving among them.

But I can't escape the hidden danger lurking in the shadows that may lead some of them down the wrong path: Too many people are telling them what to do.

Books, articles, counselors, seminar speakers, movement makers, endless tape series, ministry "experts" and others are constantly giving us the solution to every problem we face. Some actually know what it takes to help us; others of them don't have a clue. But both sides communicate to us with equal intensity.

**So, to whom do we listen?

**How do we sort out the cacophony of voices gently leading us, and sometimes shouting at us, toward the narrow way to church growth and prosperity?

**How do we know if they know?

 

DEVELOP A PLUMB LINE

Amidst all the confusion, it's important for us to develop a plumb line for whom we will listen to. We must carefully discern who can speak into our lives, and who cannot.

After more than 20 years of local church ministry, I've found that the best teachers are people who have built solid, long-term, successful ministries themselves. They have earned the right to be heard by what they have done, not by what they say.

When I want to learn to build my marriage, I talk to (or read books by) people who have been happily married for decades and decades and have children who love them and who are happily married as well. I don't want to hear advice on marriage from a Ph.D. who has been divorced four times--I want to hear from someone who has lived life well.

LOOK FOR GOOD FRUIT

In the same way, when I want advice on various situations in my church, I go to people who bear the fruit of healthy church ministry. I'd rather listen to the pastor down the street from me, who has been at the same church for years and has seen it grow year after year, than to be guided by those miles away who say they know, but have never done it. I want to listen to those who have earned the right to be heard by their ability to build and sustain a local church .

"And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom...I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:1, 3-5, NKJV).

 

LISTEN TO THE VOICES

OF INTEGRITY AND HONOR

Fancy titles, theories and rhetoric might seem impressive, but the core philosophies of our churches can't rest with those who guess. Our ministries have to be built on information from those who have demonstrated God's power for action and have earned our attention through lives of honor, integrity, faithfulness and measurable effectiveness. No other voices should be considered.

Simply put, in order to succeed, we've got to ignore many of the voices and thoughtfully choose to listen to people like Paul.

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Discouragement can be a serious struggle.

    Guard Your Spirit Against These 4 Crippling Attacks

    Are you struggling this Valentine's Day with one of these discouraging issues?

  • Some of the toughest lessons reap the greatest rewards.

    10 Tough Lessons Every Pastor Should Remember in Ground-Shaking Trials

    One is that your suffering may turn out to be the highest compliment the Father ever gave you.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

    Great leadership doesn't start with a great education, although that is incredibly valuable. ...

  • Worship leaders, keep your team's attitude in check.

    This Can Quickly Erode a Worship Team's Culture

    God has given us talent and He calls for excellence, but excellence with this is not honoring ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Your Source of Unlimited Kingdom Energy and Power

    Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did and that He will do whatever we ask in His Name.

  • What reasons can you think of that leaders might not choose to delegate authority?

    7 Reasons Some Leaders Dump Delegation

    These could have a lot to do with stalled growth and low team morale.

  • These seven responses can get you on the right track.

    Responding Like Jesus When Your Church Kicks You Out

    It's a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more.

  • A 'What's in it for me?' mentality could bring your church down.

    The Mentality That May Be Killing Your Church

    And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued or declining.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders