Long Term Results

I once hired a consultant to help our new Church as we launched it publicly. The associate I hired was one of the first people to talk to him. The consultant listed that one of his most significant achievements in ministry was starting five new Churches. My associate, who had a keen wit, asked him a question I had missed when I hired him to evaluate our Church. He asked, “How are the five Churches you started doing now?”

A blank stare came across his face, and he responded, “In all my years of consulting, no one has ever asked me that?” After some discussion, it appeared that two of his new Churches had closed, two were struggling, and one was thriving. 

I was so enamored with the idea of someone who could start five Churches that I forgot to ask the most crucial question: What were the long-term results?

Because of this encounter, it is now one of my biggest questions. When someone tells me about their marriage practices, I want to know where they are at year 30 or more. When someone tells me about how parenting should be done, I want to see their kids when they are past 25 years old. When someone thrives in ministry, I want to know where they are a few years later. 

Lots of things start with great excitement and fizzle into nothing. More than once, I have heard that this new thing was a “gift from God,” only to watch it fall apart over the coming years. 

If you want to build good habits and practices in your life, marriage, parenting, or ministry, look to people who have had long-term success. They will never be flashy or exciting, but their strategies may be the most successful when viewed over time.

There is a vast difference between something or someone that is making an immediate impact and those with long-term results. 


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