Navigating Seasons of Ministry: Wisdom from Jud Whilhite

This past week I had the chance to attend the Newspring Leadership Conference at Newspring Church in Anderson, SC.

One of the many speakers during the conference was Jud Whilhite, pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV.

Jud shared with us some awesome advice on the seasons of ministry that I now commend to anyone who is in church leadership:

1.  Remember Tough Seasons Are Temporary
God may just be getting you ready in this season for what is coming in the next, which might sound ominous, but it could also be awesome. 

Jud told us that one of the most liberating things that he realized about his life in ministry is that he didn't have to survive it.   Dr. Andrew Purves has written about this extensively in The Crucifixion of Ministry, which I commend to you as well.

2.  Manage The Crazy Intentionally
Sometimes the most devastating thing in our ministry is not to manage our "yes's very well.  It's easy to get overwhelmed with everything that must be done and lose sight of the things that ought to be done.

3.  Create a Stop Doing List
Jud said that this was the most difficult list that he ever had to write because as he started listing the things he needed to stop doing, he started worrying, "Who am I afraid to disappoint?"  

Sabbath isn't about taking a day off, it's about having faith in the sovereignty of God---enough faith to let all your obligations go for a bit and trust that God will make a way for them to be less obligatory.

4.  Focus on Spiritual Things That Give You Strength
It's not so much about focusing on what you are good at, but what makes you feel strong when you do it.  

This is a lot like going to the gym.  I am not good at going to the gym, at least not as good as some of the people I see in there.  But when I go and I start exercising I feel mighty.  The same is true for many other spiritual things that give us strength.

5.  Face Every Season in God's Rest
You don't have to know every contingency plan for every catastrophe or issue that you face in ministry.  All you need to know is God is God. 
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