Lately I’ve been training with navy seal recruits at the YMCA.

Of course you know that when I say “training with” I really mean sitting in the close vicinity on a mat or on a bench in the gym. I do 10 sit ups. They do 100. I do 10 push ups. They do 100.

Seals are no joke.
And their workouts are impressive.

They are training to achieve peak physical fitness.
I was talking with my husband about what it must be like to go through Navy Seal fitness training. He summed it up in a word. 
And I started to wonder it works the same for us in ministry. 
What do we need to do and be to achieve levels of peak ministry performance?
I had some thoughts about what a person needs (commitment, endurance, etc)
and was curious about what the seals require. The lists match up.
And I like their website. The banner reads: On Time. On Target. Never Quit.
Maybe we should have the same audacious tenacity in the church when it comes
to sharing Christ and Kingdom mission with the world around us?
3 Necessities for Peak Ministry Performance
  • We need a plan. (On Time)
    • Like the seals recommend when they are preparing to train. General training workouts should be planned organized, gradual, steady, and continual. They’re also consistent, specific, and balanced.
    • What general training do we need to stay in ministry for the long haul? Do we have an plan organized? A gradual, steady, and continual method to feed our souls and prepare us for ministry? Do we practice and exercise essential ministry skills? Are we consistently working on our relational effectiveness, our public speaking skills, our abilities to manage volunteers? Are we healthy? We really do need to have a simple plan that we implement to remain effective and have longevity in ministry.
  • We need a commitment. (On Target) 
    • I watched a group of about 12 young men sitting outside the YMCA a couple of months ago. They were being asked to submit to the highest levels of physical fitness if they wanted to become a Navy Seal. In their training they were told that they won’t be drinking at all. They won’t be using drugs. They won’t be cussing. They will be committed to the training plan. They will be gaining strength. They will be preparing for to pass a rigorous physical test. This week, there are less than 12 still training, but the ones who have stuck with it are seeing results.
    • As youth ministers, we have to keep our commitment to Christ in mind. For a Navy Seal recruit. They’re doing sick amounts of sit ups, swimming, running, stretching, eating healthy, but it’s not to be great at any of those things, it’s to prepare for their objective. We may do a lot of “stuff” in ministry, but we’re doing it for a goal so much greater than any one task. We’re doing it because our hearts are becoming more like Christs heart. We have to stay in the game. To keep running. To keep offering our lives in surrender. It’s a lot easier to say yes to our commitment to the church when Christ and becoming Christ-like is our goal.
  • We need to build endurance. (Don’t quit)
    • Navy Seals don’t quit. And they don’t train alone. Early this spring they were circled up. No drinking. No cussing. They’ll plan, commit, and train together for the long haul. So far, I’ve never seen them alone.
    • If the armed forces call this the highest standard of living then what standards as Christians should we be helping each other attain? And who are we helping get through some of the challenges? Do we let each other be swallowed in ministry alone? Do you feel alone?
Have a plan.
Keep going.
Steady wins the race.
Throw off things you don’t need.
Don’t keep doing things alone.
I beg you friends, please don’t give up. Don’t rely on a drink or on TV show to make things “feel better”. Don’t lose yourself to an addiction or to an obsession. Don’t drown yourself in an ice cream container (guilty) or run to get some retail therapy (also guilty) to produce a little bit of happy. Get the real thing. Let go. Palms up. Fingers out. Surrendered. Go to Christ who fills you with what you need and gives purpose to your life. Then call a friend. Not an occasional “hi how are ya” friend, but a friend who is willing to be vulnerable with you and who you can be vulnerable around. Get a person who doesn’t get ticked to the point of abandonment. The hard things don’t make you hard when you have someone to remind you of your goal and to remind you that you are not alone.  Let them walk with you. And you stick with that person. He or she will be your cheerleader and co-laborer right beside you all the way until the finish line.
Only you can give what you can give.
So be strong and courageous in God’s mighty power and we’ll be finishing strong…together.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a HUGE crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sing that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NLT
Palm Trees - Brooklyn Lindsey - Lakeland, FL - Speaking

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