The One Thing You Can’t Do For Your Ministry

Chase Synder
December 5th, 2019

Isn’t working in a church frustrating at times?

You work diligently to bring about change in your church but it seems to meet a dead end every time.

  • People aren’t being transformed.
  • Plans aren’t moving along as you had hoped.

With every dead end you can start to lose hope. You start to wonder what you can do differently.

  • “How can I lead more effectively?”
  • “What changes do we need to make in our structure?”

The pressure of your ministry areas adds stress to your plate AND it adds the expectation that you will bring about change.

Your responsibilities ALREADY cover too many areas:

  • Buildings
  • Budgets
  • Personnel
  • Members
  • Community/Special Events
  • Teaching, Preaching, Speaking
  • Training Leaders
  • Counseling
  • Communications (emails, websites, social medias, blogs)

Often it seems like success is left up to you and your power.

But there is one thing you can’t do in ministry:

You cannot transform lives.

Transformation is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit and is dependent on the receptiveness of each person’s heart.


Being transformed is solely between the individual and God. Period. 

You can’t force someone to think, act, or lead differently.

Can we be honest?

Most of the problems experienced in churches are not centered on a lack of processes or funds, but a lack of spiritual fervor among the church members.

I have no doubt that you would agree with that statement, but how much time have you spent pointing people to Jesus this week?

Getting caught in the busyness of ministry shifts the focus from God’s provision to our responsibility.

  • Yes, the leader is the one who casts vision, but don’t forget that vision comes from God.
  • Yes, the leader is the one who ensures needs are being met, but Jesus is the one who perfectly provides.
  • Yes, the leader is the one who communicates biblical truths, but the Holy Spirit is the one who brings about heart transformation.

The church isn’t built on your understanding, sermons, and strategies. It is built on the sacrifice of King Jesus.

The church isn’t built on your understanding, sermons, and strategies. It is built on the sacrifice of King Jesus.

This week at the National Youth Workers Convention I have been reminded of the importance of allowing Jesus to work through me and the ministry, not for me to focus solely on the ministry.

If I’m not meeting with Jesus each day then my ministry will quickly become about me, not about building the kingdom of God. If we truly want to see transformation happen in our ministries then we need the power of the Holy Spirit to move.

Set The Table

My wife and I value eating meals around our kitchen table with our two kids. Parents of preschoolers know the reality we are living in. Kids can be picky about the food that they eat. While Anne and I encourage our kids to be adventurous with their healthy eating, try new food, and to eat all of their vegetables, the truth is that we can’t force our two children to eat.

As parents we are responsible to provide healthy food options that will nourish their bodies. It is our children’s responsibility to eat the food.

We will encourage our children to make wise food choices and to eat during meals, but ultimately we are to set the table. Our role in ministry isn’t much different.

Pastors set the table for people to commune with Jesus and provide environments for people to meet Jesus. Our people have to be willing to partake and participate in worshipping Him. 

As pastors we have the responsibility to set the table, via ministries, groups, and worship gatherings, to provide an opportunity for people to commune with Jesus. It is their responsibility to come to the table and feast on the Word of God and be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

As you continue ministering this week remember that your strategies, initiatives, and communication can only go so far. You need God’s presence and power to work through your ministry and church.

Your ministry should not be based on your awesomeness, it should point to the awesomeness of Jesus.

When people experience Jesus, their giving, service, attitudes, relationships, and intentions are transformed.

A.W. Tozer said, “If we give ourselves to God’s call for worship, everyone will do more for the Savior than they are doing now!”

Now What?

Does your new strategy lead people to know Jesus more?

How can you encourage your workers, volunteers, and congregation (and maybe yourself as well) to walk closer with Jesus this week?

Chase Synder

Chase Synder is the founder of ministrybubble.com and serves as a Family Pastor in Knoxville, Tenn. He seeks to live a life that glorifies God and disciples others through their day-to-day lives, and his passion is equipping those in the church to seek those who are outside of it.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.