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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

26 Jul '14

When failure is not failure

Posted by T.J. Addington
Many of us in Christian ministry have very high standards for ourselves, often too high. We are not able to relax in the fact that we cannot do everything to perfection and some things not even in the ballpark. Yet we often live with a sense of failure when something does not go right, if we don't get something right or when others tell us that we simply don't have the skill to do something. 

In real life that is normal. Why do we who are in ministry need to perform to standards that are not normal? Yes we serve the perfect God who always gets it right but that same God gave us specific gifts (Ephesians 2:10), called it good and was content that he wired us for a few things and not all.

In my work with staff of ReachGlobal and other ministries one of the key issues is always helping leaders understand their gifting, play to their strengths and get out of areas where they are not gifted. Often what I get when we talk about the latter areas is a sense of failure on their part. But it is the furthest thing from failure. It is simply recognizing how God did and did not gift them. Half of success is knowing what we are not good at so that we can focus on those things we are good at. 

The most successful people I know are those who can tell you the instant you ask what they are not good at and what they are good at. And rather than a sense of failure on the former they are fulfilled and happy and vow that they will stay in their lane of gifting because that is what God made them for. 

Real failure for many is never admitting that they are not wired for certain things. Success is knowing what we are wired for and playing to our strengths. That is when failure is not real failure but rather success. It took me some time to learn this but when I did it was liberating.