Jim Collins said in his book From Good to Great, "In building greatness, there is no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment. Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel in one direction, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough and beyond."
According to Collins, the key to success is not giving up. This quote has ministered to me many times. I'm planting a church here in Moreno Valley, a desert community. Over the years I've come face to face with a very dry, desert-like spiritual atmosphere. We have more recently seen God move in a wonderful, fresh way-yet the exciting things have come after facing numerous struggles and disappointments.
I'm convinced, in fact, that one of the key reasons why 80% of church plants fail is because the church planter gives up too early.
I'm coaching one church planter in Texas who has been doing all the right things. He is a student of cell church ministry and is practically reaches out through social outreach and evangelisic activity. He's also prioritizing prayer. He even recently had the opportunity to quit his day job to give himself wholeheartedly to church planting (God provided financially through other means). Yet, with all of his labors over a two to three year period, he has seen little tangible fruit.
I've been encouraging this church planter to keep sowing the seed and doing the right things. Yes, ministry is rough. Disappointments are part of the job description.
Prolonged discouragement that results in hopelessness is sin, however. God wants us to press ahead in the midst of trials, knowing that He's using those very same trials to mold and shape us.
Didn't Paul say the same thing in Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Keep turning the flywheel. It will begin to pick up its own momentum. Who knows, someday people might be calling you an overnight success. Little will they know. . . .
In what area (s) do you need to keep pressing on?