In 1980’s Erwin M. Soukup compiled a list in which he calls “The Seven Steps to Stagnation.” By now, some of these statements are very familiar in the corporate world, as well as in many organizations that are trying to bring change. The 7 steps are:
1) We’ve never done it that way before.
2) We’re not ready for that.
3) We are doing all right without trying that.
4) We tried it once before.
5) We don’t have money for that.
6) That’s not our job.
7) Something like that can’t work.
After doing ministry for some time now, I have heard every single one of the steps voiced (by good intentioned people). I am coming to the realization that our beliefs, values and perception of things really do shape our future.
I have always wondered why some people are able to do great things for God while others settle for “business as usual” which always leads to mediocrity.
In this new season of ministry, it is my prayer that our church will not just “settle.”
I have a quote by John Haggai in my office to always remind me of not settling. He said, “Attempt something so impossible that unless God is in it, it is doomed to failure.” This is how we ought to live every single day… it is all about His glory.
Here are some of my other favorite quotes:
“Expect great things; attempt great things.” (William Carey)
“The Great dreams of great dreamers are not fulfilled; they’re transcended” (A.N. Whitehead)
“Dreaming about a thing in order to do it properly is right; but dreaming about it when we should be doing it is wrong.” (Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest)
“If God is your partner – make your plans large.” (D.L. Moody)
“Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources, and thus they attempt very little and they always fail. All giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them.” (J. Hudson Taylor)