Activity vs. Action

January 7, 2009 by

Once again marketing guru Seth Godin stirred up some thinking with this post that caused me to think about all the ministries churches are involved with. While Seth is talking about online activity, this quote is worth pausing on:

“Is the work you’re doing actually leading you where you want to go, or merely keeping you busy?”

Think about all the ministries housed in your church, all the effort you put into them and ask yourself that important question–is it leading you (and those you minister to) where you want (and need) to go?

Too often I believe we launch a ministry because it sounds like a great idea, or because someone really thinks it’s needed, or maybe even because the hot church down the block just launched one. That can lead to busy work and often doesn’t produce a result other than the addition of another ministry.

Before you launch the next ministry be sure that you understand the purpose and define where you want it to take you and those you minister to. There are great ministries that you can skip (or jump in head first). Maybe because there’s someone better equipped for the task, maybe it’s a question of focus or passion or maybe, and this is every bit as legitimate, you’re already spread too thin.

Be purposeful in your ministry and don’t confuse activity with action. This will create both successful ministry and happy ministers.

Post By:

Michael Buckingham

With the goal of making the church the most creative place on the planet, Michael founded Holy Cow Creative, the church’s creativity and design studio. He is the former creative director for the Center for Church Communication and Church Marketing Sucks, and is currently the experience pastor at Victory World Church in Atlanta.
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5 Responses to “Activity vs. Action”

  • Josh Asbury
    January 7, 2009

    Seth never fails to make you think. Whether you are running a church, a non-profit or a regular old business, there are so many distractions out there that will make you take your eye off the ball. It all comes down to focus, focus, focus.

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  • seanPdesign
    January 7, 2009

    Seriously dude, you need to post more.
    These are the kind of nuggets of wise observation this site needs more of. Poignant and true as always.
    In ministry I often catch myself asking myself “what’s the point?” and I often find I have no answer, neither does anyone around me.

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  • Brett Duncan
    January 7, 2009

    The other real challenge with too many ministries is that is often adds on new places “you wanna go,” not help get you to that one place you want to go. As churches, esp. mega-churches, attempt to become all things to all people, their shining light of unique differentiation loses its brightness.

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  • Peter P
    January 9, 2009

    Great advice.

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  • evan Blackerby
    January 11, 2009

    I am not sure we know where to begin with goal-setting. There seems to be a tendency to believe that any goals that we set are less-Christ focused… because they are created by us.
    We need to get in the habit of setting better goals. Most of us have no clue what win looks like.

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