Next in my series of quotes from Winston Churchill: “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” How often we believe that if we were only smarter, faster, stronger, better… then we would be able to accomplish our goals. It’s a myth. Think of all the gifted people who start strong and then wash out. How much better to put forth continuous effort over the long haul than to coast on our natural abilities for a short time. In virtually every field, continuous effort is what pays off. The athlete must train. The student must study. The musician must practice.
How does this principle play out in ministry? We may not be the most gifted preacher in the world, but we can listen to what God is saying to us and communicate it faithfully to the best of our ability. We may not be a natural evangelist, but we can be present with people and serve them as the hands and feet of Jesus. We may not be a natural coach, but we can discipline ourselves to ask good questions and seek out mentors who can help us grow.
After all, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
This is a good reminder for a young pastor like me who wants to see change happen yesterday. Knowing that deep influence happens over time in the context of relationship keeps me from seeing people as obstacles to an agenda. In reality, God’s work in them IS the agenda.