Here are five key strategies that God is saying we must begin to activate in our lives in 2009:
1. Strengthen key relationships
2. Create a covenant community of believers
3. Demonstrate love through compassionate outreach
4. Learn to operate in the supernatural
5. Get your finances in order
Strategic Key #1
Strengthen Key Relationships
When God wants to bless you, He brings people into your life. When Satan wants to destroy you, he brings people into your life.
Perhaps you have heard this saying before. There are basically four types of relationships: those that add to your life, those that take away, those that multiply, and those that divide your life and your relationship with God. It is time to evaluate every relationship in your life. Strengthen "God-ordained" relationships. Evaluate the people and relationships of those you minister to. Work to create healthy relationships in every area.
Here are some ideas to help you:
- Focus on relationships that encourage and celebrate you
- Focus on relationships that motivate you to be better than you are
- Focus on relationships that challenge you out of your comfort zone
- Focus on relationships that look to your future and do not hold you to your past
I realize that we all have people we minister to who are in our lives for the purpose of ministry. They may not fit into the above categories. In other words, you pour out for their sake while receiving very little in return. That is OK, but be sure to use wisdom in developing and maintaining these relationships.
Here's how I handle ministry relationships. I am willing to minister to anyone who is willing to receive help. I look for hungry people, not just hurting people. Hurt people hurt people. Hungry people are willing to do whatever they have to do. Hungry people can push past their pain because they really want to be different.
I pour out only to those who want to get better. And I do not let them drain me. This is one of the enemy's biggest tricks. He will distract you with someone who will keep you preoccupied and not focused on what God has called you to.
Finally, look for strategic key relationships in business, in the community, in ministry. The saying, "It is not what you know, but who you know" is totally true. You need others to help you reach your destiny, and they need you!
Strategic Key #2
Create a Covenant Community of Believers
If we are going to make a difference in the world, we have to focus on the body [of Christ] first. We can't have an impact until we get the church in order. We can't be effective if we come to church and can't stand the person sitting at the end of our row.
We have to unite together to make a difference! We need each other. Hillary Clinton wrote a book titled It Takes a Village [in which she makes the point that it takes a village to grow a child]. Well, it takes a covenant community to change the world!
The Bible says we all bring something to the table. There are diversities of gifts and different manifestations of those gifts. We need them all. None are too small!
We must rethink our very purpose in coming to church. Instead of wondering, What can I get today? think What can I give? Don't come to get; come to give!
Strategic Key #3
Demonstrate Love Through Compassionate Outreach
Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It is what compelled the Father to send Jesus.
I was ministering in another nation recently. While preaching in a somewhat traditional church, I saw a woman sitting in the back of the sanctuary. I could tell she was not a "regular." She was wearing a rumpled, slinky, tight-fitting dress, and her hair was a mess. When I looked her way a few minutes later, she had disappeared. I whispered a prayer in my heart that God would draw her back by His love, that somehow the message I was preaching would touch something deep in her.