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Overcoming Distractions in Ministry

Posted: 10/3/19 at 10:20am. Column by Craig Harwood.

Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved… beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news (Romans 10:11&15).

We easily get distracted from this single-minded focus. So many things, along with selfish desires, clutter the landscape of our daily walk.

It’s critical to be anchored in—and focused on—the mission and goals the Lord has set before each of us. I want to offer a few tips to keep your head in the work.

It’s critical to be anchored in—and focused on—the mission and goals the Lord has set before each of us.

In my column last month, I outlined how to think about goals and to have the courage to stand in them. Once you commit to goals, and before momentum brings life to those goals, distractions can settle in to pull you off track.

 Some distractions need to be avoided, others require breakthrough. What development needs, personal inadequacies, or seemingly hopeless situations create doubt and rob you of embracing the mission before you?

Take a few moments for yourself and consider the following:

  1. Outline these distractions and lay them before the Lord in prayer.
  2. Listen and observe as God peels away layers of self-denial, sin, or doubts about self worth as you walk with him through these days.
  3. Journal the observations being revealed to you and the scriptures God is calling you forward to meditate over as he leads you into clarity about these goals and your distractions that keep you from completing the journey.
  4. Keeping the goals before you, document your development needs and feelings of inadequacy or hopelessness and share them with a brother or sister who brings godly counsel and calls you forward into the high calling of Christ Jesus.
  5. Add development/overcoming objectives to your leadership plan and receive the courage to be held accountable to them. This is at the pulse of authentic leadership; God will honor your openness and new self-knowledge.

In my seminary years we, as students, were inspired by heroic examples of ministry like Adoniram Judson and Jonathan Edwards. We would walk out of those classes and chapel services stating things like, “Of course that’s my level of conviction,” and “How could anyone not continuously seek after a mission God put before them?”

Over the years, experience has taught me that people like Judson and Edwards suffered the same doubts and distractions that we battle today. In this blog post, I’ve offered an outline to help you gain insight into your inadequacies.

I can’t conclude, though, without reminding you who you are in God’s eyes: one of God’s chosen and called-out ones.

So, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

Craig Harwood has over 30 years of experience in corporate human resources and pastoring churches. He can be contacted at craig.t.harwood@gmail.com.