Lesson #10 – Many great doors in life and ministry are opened only with the key of consistency, so leaders ought to develop staying power.
I believe that ministry is like running a marathon, but most times you are required to run it like a sprint. I liken ministry to running a marathon because if the Lord tarries in His second coming, it is going to be a very long journey and you must be found doing His work until the last day of your life. In other words, all believers should die in “active service” to the living God. I liken disposition to ministry to a sprint because the Bible commands us in Ephesians 5:16 to redeem the time. We should make every moment count and cover as much ground as we can every hour. If you watch marathons, you will observe that a key ingredient required is consistency. Now imagine running a marathon with the speed of a sprint, that would require massive consistency, and leaders in God’s kingdom must always exhibit this quality.
I love the words of Noel Coward -“Thousands of people have talent. I might as well congratulate you for having eyes in your head. The one and only thing that counts is: Do you have staying power?” Leaders ought to develop staying power. Even if you seem to be moving at snail’s pace, with consistency, you may end up in the Promised Land just like the snail made it to Noah’s ark. Consistency is the ingredient that separates leaders in God’s kingdom; many leaders are exposed to the same information, some put such information to practice only once in a while but others practise them almost all the time. As a leader, you have to keep ‘pushing the ministry’ to contact those who will transform it (spiritually, financially, etc.) and, those whom it will transform.
We see several emphases on consistency in the Bible. For instance, Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always; 1Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing; I Corinthians 15:58 (GW) – “… Always excel in the work you do for the Lord…” This is because the effect of doing a good thing all the time is usually different from doing it once in a while. We say – God is good, all the time; therefore as His extension on earth, we ought to do good, all the time. It is commonly said that the secret to success is to start from scratch and keep on scratching. As leaders, our lives should not be branded with abandoned projects. Although we may encounter many challenges along the way, once we are sure we are on the right lane, we should never give up until we have made the last attempt that will consolidate all our past efforts.
If you are a leader doing the work of the ministry genuinely and not cutting corners, you may find it one of the most challenging things you will ever do especially because you are dealing with lives. But you must always encourage yourself to move on, because many people will mistakenly see you as a ‘super person’ that has outgrown encouragement. You will encounter ‘traffic lights’ on your way but you must not let them deter you. I recall when we started publishing Today’s Lifeline magazine; we encountered so many challenges in production and distribution to the point that we got suggestions from some pastors to stop production. But because we remained consistent; we now receive regular requests from people asking us to name our price to put them on the cover of the magazine; to this we are swift to respond that the price tag is “lifestyle”.
The only time we should give up as leaders is when we are on a wrong road. You may have heard that winners never quit, but winners are the best quitters in life. They always quit wrong and unprofitable things that cannot take them to the place of purpose. Great leaders quit complacency and embrace consistency. They have staying power. They move beyond yesterday’s achievements and are always reaching out for what is ahead. We can learn from Apostle Paul when he said in Philippians 3:13 (GNB) – “I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.” I trust God that we will all finish strong in the Christian race.