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How Do I “Restart” My Ministry in This Church?

January 2023



Get Your Ideas from Him

 A phone can be frustrating when it is being sluggish or fails to respond as quickly as we are accustomed to it responding. Often all it takes to solve the issue is a manual restart. I do not understand why restarting solves its latency, but gladly accept the resumed speed and responsiveness!

Churches, since the pandemic, seem to be struggling with returning to where they were prior to COVID-19. Pastors and leaders rightfully grow frustrated and flustered by the loss of people and income and effectiveness. Maybe the solution rests in a “restart,” or resetting of the principles and purposes of the congregation.  I am not referring to a “replant,” which typically means the ending of one congregation and the beginning of a new one. That could be a possible future for some current churches, but first an emphasis must be placed on a fresh return to seeking the face of God.

 The Bible is filled with the stories of people who found themselves in impossible situations. When they turned to God for a solution, He gave them ideas they could never have thought of themselves.

Moses could never have led Israel out of Egypt successfully by reading a dozen books on “Deliverance Management 101.” Nor could he have known to simply raise his staff, stand still and witness the salvation of the Lord at the Red Sea. The entire wilderness wanderings are stitched together with the ideas and thoughts God shared with Israel on nation building.

Joshua’s Jericho strategy came from a meeting with the Lord; so did Gideon’s battle plan against the Midianites.    David’s battlefield blueprints were often given to him by God in prayer. Daniel found solutions to marvelous mysteries in his daily walk with Jehovah.

The early church sought out ideas from God to face the  challenges of getting the gospel to the world and were rewarded with amazingly effective plans.

“As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”” (Acts 13:2, NKJV)

(See also Acts 1:24; 4:31; 6:6; 9:11; 9:40; 10:9; 12:12; 16:25)

Pastor, if you will seek facetime with the Father, present the problem to Him and ask Him for a solution, He may very well surprise you with one you never would have considered!

At Central Baptist Church in Ghent (Norfolk), I was doing just that when the idea came to me to rent an entire theater for one showing of “Passion of the Christ” when it premiered. We offered tickets to anyone in the community who wanted to see it and were amazed at the number of Jewish people who accepted our offer! Another idea that came to me while praying was to offer single moms and military wives a free oil change at Temple Baptist Church in Newport News. I expected about thirty to show up, but somewhere around seventy came, two years in a row.

 Pray over your problem to the Lord (PUSH Him a little bit on it) and, when an idea comes to your mind, make sure it is from Him and then go do it.

He always provides for what He proposes.

Dr. Donald Lynn Hardaway

Network Missionary



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