The Blessings of Brokenness
As you know our team has just completed our ministry projects in Ghana for this year. I want to thank you for everything you did to help us in this most recent project. The project began with much frustration and challenges with old personnel on the ground there, but by God’s grace and the prayers and plans of very many people what threatened to be our worst project ever in fact turned out to be our best project ever!
During our time in Ghana we were able to speak face-to-face with more than 70,000 people in nearly 300 venues where 50,467 indicated first-time decisions for Christ. This is certainly a testimony to the glory of God.
Our entire team spent time celebrating and enjoying the goodness and grace of God. I think it is important to celebrate the victories. But with every celebration there must be a time of evaluation.
Since being back we have been talking about the things that made this project so successful. The answer to this question is both simple and complex. I have to admit that I was slow to admit that over the past few years our plan and procedures have been BROKEN. I learned over the past year that what I thought was going really well was in fact crumbling from the foundation up. The problem here was that I was not watching it closely enough. Brokenness is always at the feet of the leader.
I discovered during our ministry in Ghana this past February at least 3 areas of brokenness, and we set out quickly to address and adjust the situation for the future. These are the problems I saw:
- We had failed to build genuine relationships with our team in Ghana. I realized that I had failed to invest enough time and show enough love for my leadership team. I was taking them for granted and trying to give correction and instruction to them without having a deep relationship with each one of them. I was wrongly assuming that because I paid them well they saw that I cared for them. It was only since February that I am now having a weekly video call with our director in Ghana and allowing him to talk more than me. This has brought his entire family and our team into an understanding of how much I care about them.
- I was not paying enough attention to the individual members of our team. Each person has their own personal struggles and I was simply overlooking them in the name of efficiency. In an effort to address this failure I began in March a bi-weekly video conference call with the entire team in Ghana. This has proven very effective because I use most of the time listening to them and laughing with them. While in Africa this time we did more things to build the team than ever before. We brought them all to the capital city of Accra upon our arrival, put them to the city hotel where they all spent the night and had excellent food, we took them all to the Mall, and we watched them in a grocery store and just hung out together. Their response to this love was incredible and evident throughout the entire trip. These team members had never experienced these basics of life, which was eyeopening to me. We even had a corn hole tournament where we all saw the more lively and fun side of these brothers and sisters. To make these relationships deeper we are currently looking for a person to serve as our Administrative Assistant in Ghana.
- Our team in Ghana was too big and we made the necessary adjustments to develop a better, rather than bigger team. With the reduction in team size from 40 to 10, we saw our biggest and most productive project to date. We had made the mistake that many of you have made to think bigger is better. It rarely is.
As we move forward we have made the decision to discover more and more ways to strengthen and solidify relationships by giving more and more attention to the individuals through greater expectations, evaluations, and elevations. Jesus told us to make disciples (or followers) of those around us. The apostle Paul wrote,
“Be imitators of me, just as I am of Christ”
— 1 Corinthians 11:1
As you follow Christ, be assured that others are watching. Always lead them in the right direction of grace and glory. The God of Glory will always use the times of brokenness to bring a blessing. Go out and be a blessing today.