How To Reach Every Goal You Set For This Year (or any year)

Well, here we are gang. Well into another year. Looking ahead with high hopes, optimism, goals defined. Sound familiar? It should, because many of us were in the same spot this time last year, looking at the same goals we find ourselves NOT having attained this year.

If I’m being honest with you, that’s where I found myself more than once. Especially in business. Year after year I have made promises and said to myself “this will be my year”. But not much changed in my business. Things didn’t necessarily get worse, but they didn’t get much better.

I finally had to get really honest with myself and realize that if I wanted to really see this thing be successful I was going to have to start really putting forth an effort to learn what I didn’t know. I had to come to grips with the fact that what I had been doing so far simply wasn’t working. And the fact is, what I was doing was “not much”. More about that in a moment.

But you see I believed, like most Christians, that when God has told you to do something, or promised something for you life, it would all come automatically. Haven’t you heard people say that? “If God told you to do it you’ll know because doors will fling open for you and all the traffic lights will turn green just as you approach them and people will be showing up bringing you everything you need….” You get the idea. People believe that when God has promised you something it will come easy and without much effort on your part. However the Bible doesn’t seem to support that, does it?

The most glaring example of that to me is the children of Israel. God promised them the new land. A land flowing with milk and honey. It was absolutely, positively theirs, guaranteed. And yet even with that assurance, they couldn’t just walk in and set up camp. They had to “possess it”. They had to go and fight powerful enemies and defeat them. Yeah. It was their land, but it was in possession of their enemies. God gave them favor over their enemies, but He didn’t give them the promised land without effort on their part.

So many of us are not reaching our goals because of a sheer lack of real effort on our part. We think because we can sing, all we have to do is sing somewhere and people will flood us with offers to come sing somewhere else. And they’ll tell 2 friends, and so-on, and so-on, and so-on. And even if that does happen (and it does for some people) people who find themselves with a full calendar realize after not much time that they lack the skill, training and wisdom to keep it going.

Most of us don’t know how much we don’t know. We go about our daily lives, blissfully unaware that God has placed in front of us everything we need to attain the promise, and we are simply not “possessing it”. We are waiting for doors to fling open on their own when God has given us everything we need to simply turn the door knob and walk through.

Getting back to my own story, I came to the realization a few months ago that I wasn’t achieving success in my business because I simply wasn’t putting forth the effort to learn how to market it properly. I, like many small business owners, was simply trying stuff. Throwing ideas against the wall. Reading an occasional article. Throwing a little money at this thing or that thing. But I finally had to get real with myself and resolve to do what ever it takes to increase my knowledge. To get the training. Learn the skill-sets I needed. And I still continue to do that.

As I started following business coaches, reading about marketing and growing a business, learning new skills, I came to a stark realization. I’m gonna need to spend some money to go to the next level. I’ve simply learned all I can learn free. So I looked into the costs involved in taking my training to the next level. I know for me, that is hiring a professional business coach. I had to do the same thing to become trained to be a vocal coach, so why wouldn’t I have to do it for my business?

And the thing is, God showed me how my own mental blocks were my hindrance. He showed me that my “reasons” for not moving forward were really nothing more than excuses. One of the business coaches I had been following actually called me one day. We began to talk about the things I desired in my business and my goals for the coming year. And I began to go into my same old song and dance about how I really want to but just don’t have the money. “It’s the ultimate catch-22″, I told her. ” I know I can make more money by working with you, but I need to make more money to work with you.”

What she said to me next confirmed something God had already put inside of me but I wasn’t accepting. She said “I want you to change that mindset. I want you to stop saying “I don’t have the money to do it” or “I can’t afford to do it”. She continued “I want you to instead start thinking more along the lines of ‘ok, this is how much I need to do it’ and then start looking for ways to make it happen.” That was really powerful for me. Because I understood then that when I started putting forth the effort God would begin making ways.

Both for me and for you, reaching our goals this year boils down to adopting one word as our motivator. The word is “INVEST”. This, for me, is not just a business. It’s also a ministry. God showed me that in order to really be successful I have to be able to reach many, many more people. Doing so will allow me to be a blessing on a much larger scale. To do that I need to INVEST. I need to invest my time, my talent, my emotions, my heart and yes, my MONEY.

I can’t just show up here and write a blog twice a week and expect people to come, guys. That’s good, but it simply isn’t enough. Even for the blog to be successful I have to market it. If I don’t then nobody sees it, including people God has chosen to be blessed by it. So one of my top priorities last year were to find ways to earn that extra money I need to invest in my business/ministry. I’ve identified what that is, and now it’s time to make it happen. I’ve already planned to work more overtime. I’ve moved into a smaller place. I go out less.

I’ve decided, in other words, to invest in my ministry and my business. If you hope to reach any of your goals this year, you will have to come to the same realization. Even if your ministry is just a ministry and not a business at all, you must invest in that ministry. You must invest in yourself, your skills, your training. You must invest your time. You must, because if you don’t, the ministry cannot survive. Anything that doesn’t grow in some way eventually starts to wither and die.

So I challenge you, as my business coach challenged me, to stop making excuses and start making plans. Stop saying “I don’t have it” and start saying “how can I get it”. Change your mindset and you’ll change your results this year. That business coach told me to decided on a date I wanted to get started with her and make it my business to do everything in my power to find a way to earn the extra money I needed to start on that date.

I’m issuing you the same challenge. Don’t make the mistake of thinking because God gave you a gift, a ministry, a purpose, that there is nothing else for you to do but show up every Sunday. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your having found me out of millions of sites across the world-wide-web is just coincidence. I know for a fact it isn’t, because I fought tooth and nail against focusing my business specifically on on helping music ministries. Traditionally anything Christ-centered or Gospel-focused has a much harder time of succeeding in business, and I was well aware of it.

But God wouldn’t let me put this aside. He dropped in my spirit one day simply this: “I didn’t give you over 30 years of experience in music ministry for you to share your knowledge with just this one church and a few other people right around town.” He told me it was time to share it with a much bigger audience. And, like we always do, I went looking for proof that the audience was actually out there. I didn’t find any. I looked on Google and used their search tools to find out how many people are actually searching for stuff like this. I didn’t find many.

Yet He told me to do it. He told me you were out there, looking. But even though He told me to do this- even though I have His promise that there will be people out there looking for the training services and products He’ll bless me to provide- He helped me to understand that I’d still need to work hard, learn new things, create new skills, and spend money on this business/ministry in order to reach them.

If I don’t I never attain what God promised me. Doesn’t mean I did what He said and it didn’t work. Doesn’t mean I “thought” He said it and He really didn’t. It means He set it before me and I simply didn’t possess it. If I do my part He will do His.

So my battle cry this year- my one word motivator that will keep me on track- is the word INVEST. If I invest in myself, my ministry and my business- both my time and my money- I know that I can’t help but be successful. I’m challenging you to join me and adopt this new mindset for this year and every year. No more “I don’t have”. From here on, it’s “how can I get”. No more waiting for things to come to us. No more standing in front of doors and simply refusing to turn the door-knob. This year let’s “MAKE” it happen. This year let’s POSSESS what God has already promised us.

 

 

Why are many Gospel singers over-weight? (hint: it ain’t because it makes them sing better)

Let me start right off the bat by saying that I’ve spent more of my adult life over-weight than anywhere near something “sexy” or even average. And I’m never more than a few hamburgers away from being right back there again. Many of the people I love most struggle with weight. So this is not some derogatory  demeaning, insensitive blog meant to simply poke fun at larger-sized people. There but by the grace of God go I.  Let me tell you what prompted this article. It was something I saw quoted in an interview article. It was said by the owner of one of the top vocal training studios here in the area.

I won’t mention the name of this company, but they have a stellar reputation here in the Dallas Ft. Worth area. The company is a full service provider of not only vocal training but the full ride. Everything you need from artist development performance, grooming, demos, you name it.  What she said in this interview blew my mind. She was talking about the requirements of working with her company, spelling out what she’s learned over the years to be the must-have attributes anyone who hopes to make it in the music business must possess.

She began breaking it down into various genres of music and the importance of appearance to be successful in those genres. That’s when it got interesting. If you’ll allow me to paraphrase here, what she said was that if you have any hope at all of making it in the pop music world you have to be in great shape physically. She went on to say that this is so critical to success in this genre that she won’t even accept someone over-weight who wants to sing pop, no matter how good they are. But then she began to compare that to the acceptable norm in Gospel music. In Gospel music, she said, being overweight is almost a requirement. In fact, she added, she won’t  accept a Gospel singer who isn’t over-weight. Yes, you read that right.

No matter how you feel about what she said, it’s hard to deny that over-weight singers are far more common in Gospel music than any other genre except one.  Classical/Opera.  People have been asking, debating, researching and puzzling for years over the propensity of Opera singers to be over-weight. All kinds of theories have been offered to explain it.  And all of it, centering around the question of whether or not being over-weight helps Classical vocalists sing better. Ask Google this question and you’ll get hundreds of results. Experts, vocal coaches, doctors, all weighing in (no pun intended). But all debate aside, the general feeling you’ll come way with is that whether or not it actually does, most classical singers are overweight because they believe it gives them some advantage vocally. History of the genre plays a role there too.

But ask Google why are most Gospel singers overweight  and you’ll get almost nothing back. You may pull up blogs like mine here, but your results certainly won’t include any experts debating about whether or not there there is any real advantage for Gospel singers to being overweight. Why? I suspect it’s because nobody really believes that any overweight person, group or ensemble singing Gospel is overweight because they think  it helps their singing in any way. No, I’m afraid the answer isn’t that deep. Listen, family. The truth is we as a people simply have a history of not eating very healthy- and not really caring much about it’s effects on our well-being. And over the years not only has our diet gotten worse, our lifestyles have become more and more sedentary thanks to modern technology and conveniences.

When you look at the number of successful Gospel artists who are overweight, you realize that obesity is an epidemic in our culture. That would be bad enough if most of us weren’t believers.  But our knowledge of the word and our tendency to use it  to judge other people makes it worse. We’re so quick to take others to task for what they’re doing to their bodies, aren’t we? We love to quote that scripture in 1 Cor. 16; 9 about how your body is God’s temple. We use it to preach against sex. Drugs. Alcohol. Smoking. Tattoos.  The “COGIC” people like to use it to condemn the “Baptist” people for smoking; right before we head over to the nearest after-church gathering spot to partake of all kinds of fattening, fried, gravy-laden foods until we can barely drive ourselves home.

Do you see the irony here? The hypocrisy? We’ll pretty-much attach any vice we want to preach against to that scripture as a sure-fire way to biblically lam-bast someone for doing it; everything that is, but gluttony. Yet a recent Google search I did using “scriptures about gluttony” pulled up more than 160 scriptures related to it.; including the one we like to quote for everything else.

Look, I didn’t write this blog to preach at anybody. I really wrote it to point out two things. Number one. Being over-weight doesn’t help your singing at all. In fact it make singing harder. But that’s a subject for another blog. Number two. We need to take better of ourselves as a people.  A quote from the studio owner like the one I posted at the top of this article conjures up so many different emotions for me. I could get mad, but at whom?  Is her statement unfair? Is it based on something she”s making up? Some unfair stereo-type? Or is it it based on something she’s seen over and over?

Look, guys. We as a people and family of believers have GOT to start taking better care of ourselves this year. We need to start caring about what we eat. Get some activity in our lives. Go to the doctor more. We need to get real honest about the fact that when we don’t care what we put into our bodies or how we treat them, we are violating our temples on the same level as any smoker or drug addict. If you don’t think so, try to stop eating fattening food for one week. Most wouldn’t make it a couple of days, let alone one week. Why? Because we’re addicted to it. Most of us would rather knowingly consume things we know are bad for us than give up the joy and comfort we get from consuming them. I have a hard time seeing the difference between that and any drug.

I’ve been trying to be healthier overall for years now. Even if it’s just eating it less often, or eating smaller portions. All my siblings are juicing now. My mom is in on it too. There is never a better time than the beginning of a new year to start trying to be healthier. At no other time will you find it easier to find support and others who are trying to do the same thing. There’s a move of God going on around the world, family.  And I for one, want to be sure I’m healthy enough to be used of God.

The power to get wealth; what it really takes

the power to get wealth

Lately I keep thinking about that scripture in Deuteronomy 8:18 that says God has given us the power to get wealth. But then I heard a statistic recently regarding the popularity of reality shows. Turns out most people say they watch them because they’re bored and have nothing else to do. What I’ve learned this year that has really sunk in more than any other time in my life, is simply that the power to get wealth is in knowledge. In the past I, like many others, have said that you can’t be successful trying to market to believers; especially black ones. But there was one flaw in my thinking. Black Christians spend a lot of money. And there are in fact  companies successfully making an income selling stuff to them. And they’re not all selling bibles and hats. And most of them aren’t faith-based businesses.

So last year after having my services on-line for some time and having “marginal” success at best, I decided to take ownership of where I am and what I’m doing- and NOT doing- to reach my goals. I got real honest with myself and admitted that I know nothing about how to market properly and that I was basically just putting stuff up and hoping people would come.  Blindly trying different things, tossing them against the wall and seeing what would stick. So I made a commitment that I would really get serious about learning how to properly market my stuff on-line. So while many people are coming home parking in front of the tv because there’s “nothing else to do”, I started coming home and get on-line. I stopped chatting and playing games and started reading about internet marketing.

Now instead of tv and games I read forums and websites and articles and courses about the how to create and market products and services on-line. Then I spend hours sifting and sorting through information over-load and hype. Then even more hours learning how to apply what I’m learning. It’s been frustrating. And time consuming. And overwhelming. And more than once I’ve felt like I was getting nowhere (that’s because the Devil kept me focused on what I wasn’t accomplishing so I couldn’t see how much I had already accomplished- but that’s another blog for another day).

But I’ve come to understand that God makes it possible for us to get the knowledge, which equals the power that we can then use to get wealth.  Most of us don’t ever get it because we stop short of getting the knowledge. It’s taken me several years to really get this. I thought that because I felt like God told me to do something, and I was pretty good at it, people would come. And they’d tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on and so on. I found out though, that real life doesn’t work like that shampoo commercial.  I’m a vocal coach . People who study with me say  I’m pretty good. But that’s not enough, and that’s the truth I’ve had to learn. People don’t tend to go tell two friends when they’re happy. But they’ll tell 10 friends when they’re not, lol! Now that I do get it though, things are starting to happen.

I’m a vocal coach now because one day I believed God spoke to me and told me that’s the direction I should be going. What I did next though, is the reason I am one today. And what I did next is get on line and start searching out how to become one. If I hadn’t, I still wouldn’t be one no matter what God said to me. But here’s the thing. Sometimes it isn’t even that deep. I did spend money, get training, take lessons, go through a certification process to learn to teach voice professionally. But God has given us the power to get wealth using knowledge we already have.  One of the products I promoted was built from things I just learned from being in music ministry most of my life. Not something I went to school for. Just something I’ve learned how to do over the years. It’s called “Ad-lib Like A Pro“.

So anyway, I posted this blog announcing the sale on all my products, then I posted about Ad-Lib Like A Pro separately a couple of times. Now, before this year I would have just put it on my website and waited for people to come. Then hoped some of them might buy it.  Or worse yet, I would have thought “that would be a great idea” and then stopped right there and went back to playing Farmville. But because I got serious last year and determined I’d learn everything I needed to know about how to be more successful, I have a new mindset now. Now when I have an idea or a thought, I start researching how to do it. I learn as much as I can free and when I determine I’ve gone as far as I can free I spend some money. Because I understand now better than any other time in my life that God is always giving us ideas, placing people in front of us, putting us in the right place at the right time. And it’s up to us to take it from there. Because of that mindset Ad-lib Like A Pro and Vocal Ministry Breakthrough generated over $250 in sales, and did so less than a week before Christmas. That’s just putting it out there to you guys.

The point of this whole thing is not to talk about what I’ve managed to do. That’s not much money in the grand scheme of things. It’s more about really coming to grips with what it really takes to move to the next level with pretty-much anything we want to do. As we come to the end of the year we’ll all start talking about what a great year 2013 will be like we do every year. But most of us say that expecting that God will simply just drop it all in our laps without much effort on our parts. I have had to learn it just doesn’t work that way. God gives us ideas and knowledge and skills that we can use to be successful. But then He expects us to do something with it. He answers prayers by placing people in our paths that can help us achieve the things we’ve been praying for. It’s then up to us to see that as an opportunity He’s placed in front of us and then take advantage of it.

So many people are absolutely convinced God told them to do something or pursue a thing until that first hurdle comes. Or the first realization it will take time and work and money. Then just as quickly as we got the revelation it was Him, we suddenly get another revelation that it wasn’t. I’ve learned that while there are definitely things out of our control out there, very little of what’s holding most of us back has anything to do with our circumstances, income, background, race or anything else. God didn’t make any specifications about whom He gave the power to get wealth. He didn’t say He gave it to only one or two segments of the population or to one race of people over another one. We just have to understand what that power is, and that He gave us the ability to get it any time we want it. Other scriptures reinforce that notion, like 2 Timothy 2:15. Hosea 4:6 and Proverbs 4:7 .

Moving into 2013 I’ve had to understand that having a desire and even the talent to do something does not guarantee I’ll be successful with it. I must study, learn, grow in my knowledge and expertise of that thing. I must invest time and yes, money. He has indeed given us the power to get wealth. And as I’ve seen proof of myself, it will kick in as soon as we’re ready to start using it.

From my heart to yours; a personal letter

You know, so many amazing things have developed in our lifetime. Look at how accessible the whole world is to us now. Through my Fan Page I regularly touch people from all over the country and even other countries. When it comes to reaching new heights in ministry, personal growth, knowledge or anything else we are indeed living in the age of few excuses.

I was just thinking the other day as I read the comments on one of my blogs that I can literally get instant access to coaching and training for pretty-much any aspect of my personal or business life with as little effort as a Facebook post.

I’ve shared with you before my testimony of how God began years ago compelling me to step out there and share the gifts, knowledge and wisdom He has poured into me for over 30 years now with a much bigger audience. Honestly, didn’t want to. I didn’t believe there was an audience. In fact I went looking for proof that somebody- ANYBODY- was searching for the kind of information and training He was telling me to do, and I didn’t find much.  Google has a tool that business owners use to see who is searching the web for information on topics, products or services we may be considering. To be considered viable you need to find people numbering in the thousands searching monthly for those keywords.

Well, when I typed in the keywords related to music ministry and Gospel vocal training and coaching and everything else I have to offer, virtually nobody was searching for any of those terms. Can you imagine how my heart dropped? But I couldn’t shake this overwhelming urge to keep moving in this direction. Every business coach and expert I follow was advising against pursuing any niche where you don’t see evidence of a demand.

But I couldn’t let it go. So I prayed about it and He placed something in my spirit that gave me peace and assurance. He simply told me that if I stepped out there with my ministry, pushed myself beyond the 4 walls of my own church, reached out to a bigger audience…that there would be people there to receive what He put inside of me.

And even though at this point I’m still only at the very beginning of this journey, I have seen His hand at work bringing about His promise to me. I have heard from individuals and ministries all over the country as well as people in Africa, Canada and Germany, all telling me that my humble little blogs, home-made videos with no professional equipment, shot sitting in front of a window in my apartment, tweets, facebook posts….all these little things I thought would certainly not be good enough…have been blessing ministries and changing people’s entire way of looking at music ministry.

For almost the whole time I’ve been a vocal coach I’ve never quite believed I had the experience and training that others had. But God has been using this simple little one-man operation to really be a blessing to ministries all over. So many have reached out to me expressing so much gratitude. Come to think of it every time I doubt myself to the point of quitting or going in another direction, God places in someone’s spirit to reach out and encourage me.

I’m not telling you any of this for sympathy or to illicit encouragement. On the contrary, I’m saying it to encourage YOU. Because I know what it’s like to be feeling like God is telling you to do something that you just can’t see yourself doing. To feel like there are so many more people more qualified. To feel like you need to invest that money into your ministry but be so afraid that it might not work. Can I tell you that I feel that every day?

Yes, it is a scary thing to trust God and walk by faith when you have no assurance or don’t see any evidence. But then if we did it wouldn’t be a faith move, would it? That’s why the bible says that faith IS the evidence we need when we can’t see any.

I’m kind of rambling with no direction here today, which isn’t like me. But I guess I wanted you to hear from my heart today. I wan’t you to know I’m real, and that I feel the things you feel. I feel the frustration. I feel that overwhelming desire to go higher, that burning love for music ministry, just like you. And just like you I feel sometimes like walking away from it all.

I worry when it’s time to sew into my ministry, even though I understand so clearly why I must. So, I get it my friend. But I know that God placed me here for a reason. I know, as you must, that He gives us all gifts for one reason only, that is to edify the kingdom. None of us have gifts just our own amusement. I’m not saying every person’s destiny is fame or fortune. But I believe that when you have an overwhelming urge to do something in ministry- one that you can’t shake despite all your own fears, doubts and logic telling you that you shouldn’t, there comes a time when you must step out there and just do it.

My newest student Sonya did just that last week, when she got on-line, went to my website, took a deep breath and booked a full month of one hour vocal training with me. I thought about Sonya a lot, and how it must have felt from her side of the computer. Sonya and I had never met in person and had only exchanged pleasantries briefly over social media.  She was about to make a big investment in something she had no idea would work, and no guarantee would be worth the money.

To add even more uncertainty to the mix she would be taking her lessons with me over the internet.  Understand Sonya’s faith here guys. She didn’t know me other than what she’d seen on-line through posts, blogs and videos. She booked and paid for an entire month in advance, based on nothing but her faith in God, and the desire He placed in her to go higher.  After our first lesson on Skype she was kind enough to share this on the fan page. It really blessed me, and I hope it will bless you too.

Wow! I have taken my first Skype lesson with Mr. Cross and all I can say is “MY MY MY!” Mr. Cross is truly the real deal. I learned so much and I’m only on the 1st lesson. For any doubtful minds about taking voice lessons especially via Internet, I can tell you it was still as effective as if we were in person. For those who just simply think ” I don’t need lessons, I can sang already”, know that you can never learn to much. These lessons are teaching me that actually I need to unlearn some things I have been doing for years. And mark my words, in a couple years (or less), you’ll be buying my CD of the shelf. (Gotta speak it y’all, :)). In a nutshell, if your on the fence about investing in your tool God has given you, I’m here to say it is well worth it! Thanks Mr. Cross!

I’m believing and praying with Sonya about her ministry, and I’m going to do everything I can to help her realize her goals to take her ministry higher. I want you to know I’m believing and praying with you too!  You can do this. Trust and believe God. Pray about it, ask Him (I’m not sure where that whole “don’t question God’ thing came from) for His will and His wisdom. And when you’re sure that it’s Him, step out there on faith. Book a Skype lesson with me, or choose my home study vocal training program. But take a step by faith today. I can tell you that faith and His word are all you can be sure of.

Image courtesy of “luigi diamanti”FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to put the “ministry” back in your music ministry

A few hours ago as I started preparing myself to write today’s blog article, I started by doing what I always do. Thinking about the various facets of music ministry and wondering which one I’d focus on as my topic. But for some reason this time I found myself starting to think  about the word “ministry” itself. The word “ministry” is used so often in the church that I wonder sometimes if we really think about it’s real meaning any more.

Ministry, for many of us, has simply become that word we attach to the end of the title of any group doing anything in an organized way in a church. It’s music. We’re doing it in church. So that makes it “The Music Ministry”. We all refer to that large musical group we participate in at church as “the music ministry”. But I wonder if we really understand what that implies.

So I thought today it would be interesting to actually look at the word ministry separately and just get a good solid definition. In an article on the subject I found on GotQuestions.org the author wrote:

“Ministry” is from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning “to serve” or douleuo, meaning “to serve as a slave.” In the New Testament, ministry is seen as service to God and to other people in His name. Jesus provided the pattern for Christian ministry—He came, not to receive service, but to give it (see Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 13:1-17).

In another article I found on Kruse Kronicle the author defined it very simply this way:

ANYTHING done in service to God is ministry…….Ministry is ANY work done in response to God’s call

Taking the essence of what the word Ministry means then, and applying it to music ministry, we start to get a better understanding of the gravity of what we’re called to do. I spoke at a choir annual one year and I talked about the fact that even though only one person wears the official title of “Minister Of Music” in most music departments, every person that is a part of the music ministry is in fact a “minister of music”.

Think about that for a minute. Think about yourself as a “music minister”. Not in the sense that you’re in charge of anything, or that you play an instrument, teach, or direct. Only that you serve God and others in His name, through music. Yours is an individual ministry that is part of a larger ministry (the choir, praise team, band), who is part of an even bigger ministry (the church you attend).

That means everything you do, say and think in relationship to your service to the music department encompasses what you now think of as “your ministry”. It changes your thinking in some pretty profound ways, doesn’t it?

And yet the truth is, if we really honestly consider the real meaning of the word Ministry, we understand that as believers we are all called to be ministers. That’s true in every facet of our lives, in everything we involve ourselves in; inside the walls of the church or outside. My very life is my ministry. My service to God and to other people in His name.

It’s a pretty powerful way to think of yourself. Maybe even a stretch in some cases. But I can tell you from experience that every time you think of anything you’re doing that way, it automatically causes you to adjust your thoughts. To set your own bar higher. To strive for a higher level of excellence. Suddenly it’s very difficult to think about just you anymore.