My wife, a very wise woman, keeps in mind three important strategies for maintaining long-term success in ministry. These apply no matter what kind of ministry you’re involved in, whether you’re leading a network of churches, organizing a small group service project, or teaching the kids’ class.

  1. Remember that listening is an ongoing process. Continue to ask questions of others, read, pray, and listen to the Holy Spirit. Don’t fear change, but be open to new ideas and different perspectives.
  2. Strengthen relationships with your coworkers. You need peers to support one another and pray together. Build friendships, and be sure to always be mentoring someone to take your place if need be.
  3. Continue working on your personal growth issues. Stay healthy—spiritually, emotionally, and physically—and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions of yourself. Guard against burnout, maintain your other priorities in life, and take the time you need to engage with God.

If every Christian leader engaged in these three behaviors, how different might our churches look?