The How To's of Prayer Ministry

7.10.1 Practical Policies of Professionalism

Understand the Circumstances that Surround Ministry Failure

Quit often ministries experience repeated cycles of failure. These are problems that arise again and again. In the long run, understanding principles that enable failure and practices that protect the ministry may save you repeated cycles of grief.

1. Assumption, the First Rule of Ministry Failure. (Responsible for 46% of ministry failure)

Defined: taking to or upon oneself, the act of unauthorized laying claim to or taking possession of power or authority. (an arrogant pretension).
When authorized authority fails to communicate delegated perimeters of the power to act or enact, the authorized perimeters will be presupposed. Individuals will move beyond required perimeters to take matters into their own hands.

2. Unpredictability, the Second Rule of Failure. (Responsible for 31% of ministry failure)

Defined: the inability to reason or come to a practical conclusion by observation or evaluation, what is common, expected or normal
Ministries that consistently change policy, projects or programs, often frustrate those who serve them to the point of discouragement, because of the constant disregard for the heart felt labor of the saints. Remember those who serve us in ministry, do so because they love the Lord. Often we don't pay them. One’s reward is the opportunity to be used in service to the Lord and experience the fruitfulness of that labor, in the same manner we do in ministry. When a leader takes for granted the hard heart felt labor of those who serve them, it sends a message that we don't respect them nor think much of what they have invested in service to the Lord.

3. Instability, the Third Rule of Failure. (Responsible for 11% of ministry failure)

Defined: The state of being unstable. unestablished, unfixed, unsettled, state of confusion and continual change or fluctuating, varying, unresolved purpose or resolution, unable to resist vulnerability. Characterized by: Division, dissension, lack of discipline, lack of honesty, integrity, or direction.

5. Disrespect, the Fourth Rule of Failure. (Responsible for 9% of ministry failure)

The word respect is defined: the act of giving particular attention and consideration, to hold in high or special regard, to esteem, to consider worthy of high honor, etiquette, protocol.
Disrespect is defined: to hold one as valueless, unworthy of respect, an attitude of disregard or contempt toward the feelings or needs of another. Characterized by: a disregard to personal needs to feel safe.
Scripture defines respect as the right to decide certain matters within the perimeters of God ordained privilege.

Footnote: To often, ministry leaders will not intervene when conflicts rise at a ministry function that place others at risk. As a result people get hurt. When conflicts arise, many reserve themselves to little more than “let’s get along or let’s forgive” or do nothing more to safeguard others. When open confrontations occur it is important that parties be separated immediately and the risks evaluated to preserve a safe environment for everyone. Leaders are biblically obligated to protect God’s people. Acts 28:20.

1. Respect individual boundaries,

2. Respect family boundaries

3. Respect ‘Position,’ pastoral boundaries. Never rebuke pastoral staff or leadership openly.

4. Respect organizational boundaries
Respect authority boundaries, Don’t put your two cents where it does not belong. Respect those in authority.

5. Respect sexual boundaries. Do not knowingly set yourself into compromising situations.

6. Respect one another’s character
The God who is wiser than all, has created each individual into a unique personality. Some characters complement the other, some cause others to feel uneasy. 1 Corinthians 12:22-25

7. Respect the gift of others
Each individual in the Body of Christ has a different gift 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 A diversity of calling, gifts, and ministry, but the scripture says God is in them all.

7. Respect ministry styles The work and business of God is performed through many forms of Government and administration

8. Some churches operate as corporations with bylaws other are freer in approach as para church ministries that make decisions for the moment.

9. Respect standing policies
Policies are to ensure order and respect and a safe environment for all who labor or become recipients of ministry. They close the door to potential accidents, lawsuits and of course the enemy.

10. Respect each other’s boundaries
Each individual measures safety in reference to different life experiences. A ministry may find a necessity to create policies to further assure a safe environment. Unfortunately not every ministry is able to operate within everyone’s need, so it is important that those who are candidates for ministry be willing to serve within the ministry’s ability to provide personal respect. An individual should not impose their ideals on everyone. Yet still feel safe within the working environment.

11. Respect issues of privacy Don't be a busybody.
When an individual has an issue with another, its their issue, not your issue. Nor a matter open to discussion how others think about it. Don't add your 2 cents to a disagreement because you are in ears distance.

5. Lack of Communication, the Fifth Rule of Failure. (Responsible for 4% of ministry failure)

Defined: An inability to communicate mind to mind or thinking to thinking An unwillingness to talk. The inability to relate vocally or articulate ideas. A lack of sharing. A shortfall of integral practices. The lack of communicating understanding. The inability to receive full comprehension. Misunderstanding or confusion in reverence to what one believes they hear.

Footnote: Communication failure reveal itself in many ways. Good communication skills are not inherent but learned. Much communication shortfall is not intentional, but rather an inability to remember affirmation due to the limitations of short-term memory. It is best to journal or keep a day calendar. 4 absolutes that must be written down for latter reference. [Promises, agreements, commitments, appointment dates and times].

6. The Aftermath of Misunderstanding, the Six Rule of Failure. (Responsible for 4% of ministry failure)

Ministries often do not clean up or practice damage control after a misunderstandings. They fail to exonerate those not at fault when a problem is resolved. When misunderstandings are swept underneath the carpet in the hope that they will be forgotten or disappear, they will bred more misunderstandings and eventually when least expected come back to bite you. You may forget, people don’t forget.