Sometimes I wonder if I’m making a difference for my clients. Then there are days like yesterday.
Recently I connected with a pastor I had done some strategic work several years ago. I remember our first meeting and how much work I knew it would take for his church to become an outwardly-focused, evangelistic congregation. This was not just cosmetic changes, but a fundamental shift in the way he did ministry. It was going to be costly, in terms of losing core people who liked the circle-up-the-wagons approach to ministry they had, and costly in the terms of all the dollars that would walk out of the door along with those people.
As we reconnected and he shared what God has done in his congregation since those days, I was blown away. I was right. It was a painful transition, and they did lose a lot of people, but I’m thankful that the story doesn’t end there.
Since my work with the lead team, the church has grown by an average of a 1,000 people every year! And most of the growth is not from disgruntled members from other congregations. It has come from reaching those outside the faith.
As my friend shared his last five-year journey with me, I was moved to tears. I was humbled to have been a small part, a catalyst of sorts, who help them take a good church and turn it into a great one.
I’m so thankful for our meeting. I needed it. Sometimes we work hard and wonder if what we do is truly making a difference. I know my clients who lead not-for-profits, universities, churches and ministries wrestle with that question almost on a daily basis. Yesterday was a reminder that what I do matters.
Think about your life: your family, friends, clients. How often have you asked yourself, “Am I getting through at all?” I know I ask that about most exchanges with my teenage boys. And while there might not be immediate signs of life, I know that those seeds need to be planted, even when I think it’s going to fall on infertile soil.
Let me encourage you to continue to grow and do what you do with passion and excellence. It’s easy to give up when you cannot see immediate results.
Do you ever feel like I felt and questioned your contribution to those around you? How do you deal with that feeling?