I am a question junkie! I’ve never met a question I didn’t like. Why? That’s simple: Questions make you think, questions make you evaluate and questions make you grow. I’ve also come to see questions cause you to learn as well as being a first step to change! In my opinion, there is no such thing as a dumb question.
Jesus was a master at asking the right questions. Luke 2:46-52 tells us that He started early. He continued throughout His earthly ministry using questions to teach and encourage learning. (See Matthew 16:13-18.)
I think it’s important to do the same. Here are seven questions that need to be answered on a regular basis to lead a growing ministry
1. Are my priorities out of order?
Everyone says they have priorities but not everyone can name them. Do you have a list? Are they God’s priorities for you? Proverbs 28:2 says: “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.”
2. How am I spending my time?
In my book, Beat The Clock, I cover the four keys to time management. The first is planning, this is writing on your calendar how you want to spend your time. Then there is preparation—this is where you add to-dos and reminders. Third is evaluation, when you start writing down how you actually spend your time. Delegation is the last one—this is when you use the time of others. If I can save one hour a day for a year, you’ve just given yourself 15 days or 45 eight-hour days—that’s six weeks to use that you’re presently wasting. You see, when everything is said and done it’s all about making tomorrow better.
3. What kind of structure have I established?
In my book, S-T-R-E-T-C-H, I talk about two kinds of structure—a growth structure and a maintenance structure. Maintenance structures happen automatically when you are 75 percent full. I have discovered there are four areas that affect growth: Organizational structure (If people were no problem, where could you use a worker?), policies and procedures, people in the right places, and facilities. All four of these have to be in growth mode; just one in maintenance mode will stunt your growth.
4. How am I keeping score? (Am I winning?)
In my book, The Eric Trap, I talk about the importance of measuring with the proper ruler. You have to determine how you will measure a win with these four groups: kids, parents, leaders/workers, as well as the leadership above you.
5. Where is ministry being done alone?
Exodus 18 tells us about this in Jethro’s advice to Moses. In this story, we see firsthand that doing the job alone doesn’t leave fruit that remains. You’ve got to build depth at key positions to be effective over the long haul.
6. Where am I not willing to change?
A question I like to ask myself on a regular basis: “Is there a better way to do things than how I am doing them?” Same action brings same results. People resist change when the change isn’t self-initiated (someone else’s idea) or when their routine is disrupted. Change creates fear of the unknown.
Many people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions. I have found change requires additional commitment (whatever it takes). Also, tradition resists change as well as pride, watch out for both of these.
7. The last question is the most important. “What am I holding on to that in the presence of a Holy God I’d have to let go of?”
I don’t know why in ministry it can sometimes become about you and not about Jesus. It’s up to you to keep the main thing the main thing. Have you started majoring on the minors or is Jesus still the main thing?
To grow continually, these questions can’t be a one-time examination but things you ask yourself as well as your team from time to time. Keep asking questions and you’ll keep growing.