G. Allen Jackson Senior Pastor
World Outreach Church Murfreesboro, Tenn.
A 2013 Outreach 100 Church
The most significant turning points have been inward. It seems when I could change, it created new opportunities for ministry. I believed, inappropriately, that all sorts of external factors were limiting the ministry: theology, architecture, quality/style of music, the name of the church, etc. When I was awakened to the reality that the limits were within me and my own thought processes, everything began to change. External issues were not the hindrance. I still believe that the potential for new opportunities begins with my willingness to change and grow.
I do not believe there is a single definitive way to measure ministry success. It often depends on what portion of ministry health needs to be evaluated. Financially, we need to pay our bills on time and be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us. We want to provide an engaging atmosphere for children to learn to follow Christ. When I began serving at the church, there were fewer than 50 people. Today, thousands attend. The primary measure of ministry success is ensuring the values that were transformational when there were dozens attending are still in place today. The facilities, staff, delivery systems and technological tools all change. Yet, there is a core set of values foundational to all.
GETTING DOWN TO WORK
An important work habit has been the practice of identifying what can impede organizational progress in the next 12 and 36 months. As the organization grows, there are momentum breakers that take longer to address. Keeping an eye on the three-year obstacles enables us to avoid the habit of lurching from crisis to crisis. Perhaps my most important habit is the reminder that being a pastor is a people thing. I have an assignment that is impossible to achieve if I do not have a heart for people.