Tough…

I have had many conversations with our staff over the last couple days about tenacity and follow-through. Basically, we have been discussing operating with our best practices and core values.

Excellence is one of our core values and often it is one of the hardest ones to consistently follow. It isn’t that we cannot determine the difference between good enough and going over the top, but it’s that its much tougher to do things the best way, impressive way, and a way that will make an impression on as consistent basis.

One of the other huge hurdles that people face when they take on the role of a pastor at a church plant is being able to seamlessly transition between looking at the big picture and specifics. They have to be able to see it from all angles then work inside their ministry areas. It’s actually more difficult then you think to think like a manager and then still pastor the volunteers in your area. Huge to-do-lists, overwhelming projects, and a constantly evolving ministry can be distracting.

Tenacity, follow-through, and mental toughness is the only way to be successful in this kind of ministry. I often reference my days as a landscaper to illustrate my point. My go to illustration is the day a dump truck dropped off 50+ yards of mulch at a house we had to landscape. I had to clear the driveway it was dumped into in one day with only one helper. We had two shovels, two rakes, and two wheelbarrows. We worked non-stop for 8 hours to clear the pile and have it done for the opening house the next morning.

That project and many others like it didn’t tempt me to quit because it was physically taxing. It was the mental gymnastics to keep shoveling instead of sitting down in front of the frightening pile of mulch built up my attitude to stick with it…even when it was overwhelming. Unfortunately, you can’t teach people mental toughness…it’s learned. The mental toughness necessary to stick with a church plant when lousy stuff happens, when hard decisions have to be made, when giving goes up and down and when people quit on your church is the only thing that will ensure long-term success.

What’s your mulch pile?

Anthony Gratto

Executive Pastor

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