One of the blessings of a new year is the sense of renewed energy and momentum that often comes with it. Many of us have recently set new goals or reset old ones and are looking forward to the possibilities and opportunities of being used by God in the coming year.

Yet, even as we gain momentum, Satan works to ruin it. And we can easily aid in that process if we don’t guard our hearts, serve as team players, and remain committed to serve.

Here are some of the common ways a pastor or staff member can unintentionally ruin momentum on a church staff team:

1. Become bored with what once excited you. Do you remember how exciting it was when you first got to serve in ministry? No job was too small, no opportunity to serve was insignificant. At some point, however, the reality of life sets in, and it’s easy to lose personal momentum. If you do, it will catch up with those you lead and serve alongside.

What is the cure? Being motivated by what first excited you—the love of Christ and the opportunity to share the gospel.

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.—2 Corinthians 5:14–15

2. Become apathetic toward the lost condition of the world. We start out in ministry passionate to share the gospel—to see people saved and lives changed. But somewhere along the line, we get distracted by meetings, budgets, plans, activities…and we lose our compassion for the lost.

But the lost people are still there—all around us in our communities. Do whatever it takes to keep your heart warm. Work to consistently stay after souls and to be personally reaching people with the gospel.

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.—Matthew 9:36

3. Take for granted faithful people around you. Sometimes in our zeal to reach new people, we neglect to thank and encourage those faithfully serving in the trenches with us.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,—Philippians 1:3

4. Email to the neglect of the personal touch. Email is a great tool—for about 15 percent of what it is used for. It is never a great tool for admonishing, reprimanding, or teaching life-changing lessons where a face-to-face meeting is possible.

Do all your communication via email, and you will undermine the momentum of those you could encourage and build.

Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.—2 John 12

5. Do not collaborate with team members. This thought goes two ways: First, don’t be a loner who refuses to build synergy with a team. And second, don’t assume others on the team are completing projects without taking time to meet, evaluate, and provide direction and help. One of the most frequent words in Paul’s epistles is we.

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel…—1 Thessalonians 2:4

6. Do not train others. Have you ever been given a responsibility without the training or tools to complete it? If you are leading others in any capacity, be clear, be thorough, and be patient. Make sure those you lead understand their responsibilities and have been adequately mentored in carrying them out.

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:—Titus 1:5

7. Fail to celebrate wins. Sometimes we get so caught up in the future and so driven to press forward, that we miss the victories along the way. Be sure to recognize God’s blessings and thank Him for them with others. There are few thing that build momentum like recognizing with others what God has already done in and through their lives.

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.—1 Thessalonians 2:13

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