I used to run a McDonald’s restaurant. No one ever once came in and asked for a fillet steak with peppercorn sauce. If someone did we would all think they were weird. We all know what we get when we go there. Our job wasn’t to do something new but do what we were known to do and well. You can go nearly anywhere in the world and you know what you are getting in a McDonalds. People don’t complain about the food there unless it is slow or cold. They expect the food fast and hot.
That is because they have been establishing for decades that this is what they do. In tough times, their challenge is to keep providing what is expected.
We must, when times are uncertain, go back to what we do well. One of the key things I do well is minister healing to the sick. I was doing healing meetings long before I started pastoring. When I am stuck what to do, I often hold a healing service. I hold healing services when we start our new churches. People expect that at Tree of Life they can find healing for their body, among other things. It’s becoming part of the brand of Tree of Life. Our other pastors are bold when it comes to teaching healing and ministering to the sick. If we had a Tree of Life Church that was not seeing healings, I would have to do something about it.
In uncertain times, there should be certainties. One thing we must not throw out of the window is our standards – our cultural standards, our spiritual standards, the standards of our message, our ministry, what we produce, our way of doing things. Stay on point!
And if you have let things slip – do not beat yourself up, just get it unslipped! It happens to all of us that the changes around us can cause us to change what should never be changed. It’s not always easy to get unslipped. People do not realize that one of my biggest battles is just to keep the standards of our Tree of Life Churches on point. I pray, I teach, I counsel, I fight to ensure that Tree of Life is always full of the Word, full of the Spirit, full of the nations, filled with love. Often that means we will not do certain things, and you do not win any popularity contests when you cut a certain meeting out or do not have a certain guest speaker, or will not promote someone who you know cannot carry the vision of the Tree. Correction is hard on people as well, but we know leadership requires strength.
Maybe you can see that your standards have slipped – pray to the Lord and ask for ways to refocus on the dream, and do things for the dream! Get people on board and make some changes.