Ministry Training in the Offseason
06.03.2015 posted by Chris Marchand
Ask any professional team in sports and they’ll tell you that championships are won because of sheer talent but also because of 99.9% of what happens in the offseason. Victory is about training camp, summer workouts, self-driven work, sweat, and pushing yourself when the lights and cameras are off, and nobody’s watching. This theory of victory has a significant crossover to the world of ministry.
What are you going to do in the offseason to bring a “winning season” to your group this coming fall? Instead of sheer talent you have the Holy Spirit working alongside and equipping you to know, love, and serve your students. So what does the offseason look like for you? Here are three things you can do to prepare for opening ceremonies this fall.
1. Do you have a workout plan? No professional athlete just wanders through a gym and maybe thinks about touching the weights. You’ll never hear a star running back say, “Oh, I just didn’t have time for it, Coach.” When it comes to reading your Bible, do you have a workout plan? Not, do you have someone else’s workout plan. But rather do you have YOUR workout plan? Spend some time putting together a reading and study plan that is personal for you this summer. You know your physical and mental limits better than anyone. Adjust your plan to stretch your mind and heart and increase the duration in small increments over the course of the next three months. You’ll be amazed when those verses you read turn into chapters read.
2. Do something difficult and unfamiliar. This could be anything. It could be standing up and preaching a sermon on Sunday. Give your pastor the day off. He probably needs it! But seriously, do something that will assault your fear and stretch your abilities. Coaches always push their players to the edge because they need to know where it [the edge] is for each one of them. What are you afraid of? Write out your fears and think of one that you can address this summer. If anything, you’ll have some amazing stories to share with your students as you inspire them to confront their fears as a pathway to growth.
3. Make healthy decisions. Every pre-season there is a story about a player who didn’t work out. He didn’t go to training camp and decided to play a pickup game. Then he breaks a small bone in his foot and cannot walk. The choices and decisions you’re making now will impact what your students receive this fall. Don’t skip workouts. Don’t miss spiritual meals. Don’t ignore the advice of your coaches and spiritual trainers. It’s foolish to think you’ll just show up this fall and jump right in. No athlete thinks like that, and no follower of Christ should think like that either. Prepare now. Make healthy spiritual decisions.
How are you training during this ministry offseason? Share some of the things you do on a regular basis that strengthen your soul. Your ideas might become the very spark someone needs to their offseason plan off the ground!