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Three Essentials to Finishing Well

People who start well…oftentimes don’t finish well.

And that includes ministries and ministry careers!

I’m a football fan, and, in particular, a Cornhusker (a fading glory, I know!).

A couple of decades ago, before the national championship seasons, Nebraska started each game well–they dominated, dictated direction for most of the game–only to see it evaporate and experience defeat, or near defeat.

It’s a complicated thing!

Finishing Well

Many in ministry give three quarters of dedicated service, gifted leadership,and passionate impact…but are at risk of fourth quarter evaporation, especially today.

There are lots of reasons and competing dynamics.

It’s a complicated thing!

For Nebraska? The next season was a resolve to compete at the highest level for all four quarters, to finish well.

They were the first…at least I think they were the first…three quarters completed…hands up in huddles. Four fingers in the air.

They made a solemn resolve, a covenant among teammates:

“We will, together, finish well.”

In two separate conversations, a corporate trainer and an early retiree ready for some full time ministry offered these learnings for fourth quarter heroics.

Learning #1

Keep Learning!  “My last five years, I couldn’t rest on what I knew. Our industry, like most, was changing rapidly. I needed to take a deep breath and  ‘learn faster,’ from others, or risk being ‘dehired’.”

Learning #2

Position the Organization for Future Success. “Don’t put the organization at a disadvantage because you chose to ‘coast out’ the last few years or wrestle with retirement plans. Continue to lead. Take on the hard challenges. Put the organization and your successor at an advantage when you pass the baton.”

Learning #3

Empower Others to Lead. “They’ll be here when you’ve finished. They’re younger. Invest in them and their future. Coach them. Give them access to your life. Make who you are and what you’ve learned available to them.” (Sounds like discipleship doesn’t it?)

It’s not bad counsel for many in ministry.

A covenant among teammates (not competitors)!

Four fingers to the sky!

We will, together, finish well.

Your  gift today helps new ministry couples get started well and fourth quarter leaders “learn faster,” and everyone in between!

Thank you.

Jock Ficken
Rev. Dr. Jock Ficken

One Response

  1. Rick Meyer says:

    I have four fingers in the air as I take a deep breath . . . .!

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