The longer you do ministry, the easier it becomes to minister from memory. You tend to do what you've always done. It is safe, comfortable, and convenient.
To stay spiritually and creatively fresh, I suggest “strategic disruptions.” To me, this is intentionally disrupting the routine, mundane, and normal aspects of life on purpose.
Because people tend to be creatures of habit, life often looks relatively similar from day to day, week to week, and year to year.
I suggest two steps: first, define your rhythms—then disrupt them.
- If you drive the same way to work, take a different road. Take time to look around: what will that new construction on the corner be? Are those oaks trees or elms? Could this elementary school benefit from volunteer tutors from your church? Think about what you're looking at.
- If you study the Bible the same way, try a different approach. Look up every instance of the word "joy," or try reading a book of the Bible that you haven't read in a while.
- If you listen to the same type of music, tune into something entirely different. Classical music, Christian rap, jazz—shake things up.
- If you read the same books, stretch yourself. Read fiction or blogs or poetry—read out of your comfort zone.
- If you order the same thing off the menu, venture out and try something you’ve never had.
By disrupting your rhythms, you may experience just enough to change your perspective slightly. And suddenly, you could be more sensitive to hear something new from God, see a new need in your community, or sense a new strength in your ministry.
Variety really is the spice of life, and spice keeps us open to new insights and experiences. If you've settled in a rut—in your preaching style, in the topics you cover, in the vision you have for the future of your church—be intentional about stirring your soul to new ideas, flavors, and purposes.
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