Tag Archive - difficulty

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Why it’s Good for Ministry to be Difficult

Over the last couple of decades of full-time local church ministry, I’ve seen my fair share of difficult ministry moments. Like many of you I’ve experienced incredible wins and painful setbacks.

Anyone who’s been in local church ministry for more than 5 minutes knows that it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. Ministry can have incredibly difficult seasons and sometimes we can face what seems like insurmountable obstacles.

And that’s good…

Difficulties often force us to take a Different Direction:

When things become difficult in ministry sometimes the right thing to do is to push through and give more effort. But sometimes difficulties provide an opportunity to take a different approach and get different results. Either way, the best way to silence your critics is not to shout or fight back but to simply keep going and prove them wrong. So if you have to give more effort or take a different approach, either way, keep going!

Difficulties provide a Mirror for our Leadership:

When the lights come on and the whistle blows, and the game clock begins to tick it’s too late to practice and perfect your craft. Difficulties are a gauge for us to measure how we’re growing as a leader. Difficulties reveal our leadership capacity and effectiveness.

Difficulties help us Develop a Greater Capacity:

Often times you don’t know you can, until you do. One more mile, one more rep…one more. Everyone knows that overworking can lead to all kinds of unhealth and ultimately kill you. But people have a tendency to forget that underwork can lead to all kinds of unhealth and kill you just the same. Life change isn’t easy. The cross wasn’t easy. Difficulty is good for church leaders because it helps us develop our leadership muscle, mental toughness, and remind us to rely on the One we’re doing all of this for. Don’t give up just because it’s difficult. God can do more in you and through you than you think He can.


Posted in Leadership

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Top 5 Posts of 2011 #2: when life doesn’t go according to plan

I wrote this post the week after I lost my job pastoring a church in the Atlanta Metro area. It was a crazy moment for the Alexander Family. And a moment that I never imagined that I’d ever be walking through. Not sure this post registered as the #2 post of 2011 because everyone loves a good train-wreck or because it struck a cord. Either way, here’s the #2 post from 2011.

When Life doesn’t go According to Plan

Sometimes when you’re preparing to teach it has more to do with what God wants to do in you, than what He wants to do through you. This past week I had planned on diving into a teaching series about the life of Joseph. But instead of teaching about it, I find myself living it. Life just hasn’t necessarily gone according to plan this week. So maybe the teaching series will have to wait a little bit. But until then, here’s some of the stuff I’m living in the moment.

Is God being with me dependent upon my circumstances? For many of us I think our faith in God hinges upon the circumstances we find ourselves in. If our life is going good then God is good. But if our lives are in turmoil then God must be mad at us or absent.

But what if we’re wrong? What if the Bible is true? That God will never leave you or forsake you. That He’s an ever-present help in times of trouble. That He loves you. That He works all things, the good and the bad, together for the good of those who love Him. That there is nowhere you or I can run to that He’s not there in the thick of it with us. What if God really does have a greater story that He is writing and the plot is thicker than the one moment we find ourselves in right now? What if it’s just not about the circumstances that we happen to find ourselves in today, what if there is something bigger going on?

Below are just a few transferable principles that we can learn from Joseph’s life. (*To read Joseph’s story for yourself, check out Genesis 37, 39-47)

Continue Reading…


Posted in Family, Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing