Posts Tagged ‘church ministry training’


Is it really better to ask forgiveness than permission?

Is it really better to ask forgiveness than permission?

There’s an old saying, It’s better (or easier) to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission. I have tried this and sometimes it works, however when it comes to the church an a calling to submit to authority not to mention honoring God, I don’t think it’s the way to go. So what should you do instead?

Imagine you have a ministry in mind, you feel it is a leading from God, but you’re pretty sure it will be a tough sell to your church. Sometimes the best thing to do is realize that some of the struggles we think we will have are imaginary. Seth Godin once wrote, “anxiety is experiencing failure in advance.” There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “you have not because you ask not.” Perhaps you just need to bite the bullet and “pop the question.” Find a leader in the church that you think might be open to what you’re thinking and open a dialogue.

Now suppose that doesn’t go well. Is your idea dead? That depends. Sometimes church leaders experience anxiety too. They may love your idea but they aren’t sure how it will fly with the rest of the congregation. Don’t be too tough on them, you had the same concern. The next step is to ask yourself a couple of good (but tough) questions.

1. Is the problem with the idea or is it with me? This one might be tough but it is a good question. Have you shown yourself to be a faithful servant who is capable of leadership? Are you living the kind of moral and ethical life that warrants you being allowed to lead? If not, put your idea on the back burner, do the steps that can be done in preparation, but volunteer to do the things that need to be done at the church show yourself to be faithful. If the problem is your moral or ethical life, don’t even bother going to Matthew 7:1, (you know, “judge not…) that just shows you’re prideful and unrepentant. Do what needs to be done and clean up your act. Maybe they just feel you’re too young and inexperienced. You can kick against this one if you want, but you may end up proving their point so instead, find an older more experienced mentor to work with you. Once you’re convinced you’re not the problem, look at the idea and ask the second question.

2. Does this idea fit where I am trying to put it? Some things are a fit for within the church and some are meant to be done outside. Some fit within the context of certain ministries but not for the whole church, etc. For example: The Passion of the Christ was over all a great movie that showed a lot of great spiritual truth, but show it in children’s church and you are going to be in heaps of trouble. It doesn’t fit. I remember for one of our community outreaches at my former church, I brought in a Christian punk band to finish out the night for the youth (I was the youth leader). Well the kids loved it but the rest of the congregation was more than a little upset. In a youth outreach it would have been great. In a whole community outreach, it didn’t fit.

3. Is it the right time? Sometimes you are great and the idea is great but it’s just not the right time. If that’s the case, do the prep work and get ready when the door opens.

One of the things I have seen quite a few times is it’s much easier to get buy in on something that is already successful. So if you have an idea and you’re not sure how it will work, but you’re pretty sure the Lord is leading, try it. Do it outside the confines of the church on a small scale that you can fund on your own. Build your team, “sell” your vision and start. Build it up, work out the kinks and get it ready. When it’s ready and working, take it to the church and offer them the opportunity to get behind it. If they do you’ve added to the ministry of the church. If it doesn’t fit, ask them to pray for you, continue to serve the church faithfully and keep going with what God has called you to do, perhaps this ministry was designed to be outside the church as a way for you to meet people and bring them into the Body of Christ.

Try it in a way that honors God and trust Him.

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Leviticus 13; Hebrews 3; Psalm 39
You can also download your own chart here.

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