Monday, November 05, 2007


In the military, commanders are trained to look for "force multipliers" on the battlefield. Force multipliers are attendant circumstances that can give an army a 2x, 3x, or even 4x advantage. Such things as weather or morale could be force multipliers. For instance, if two armies are equivalent, but one has the wind at its back, which one has the best chance of succeeding? Or, if two armies are equivalent, but one is well rested and well fed, which one do you choose?

What are some of the "force multipliers" in ministry? There are clearly spiritual "force multipliers" like:

1. Prayer. So many times in the CTK story I have had the distinct impression that "somebody's praying." Prayer moves the hand of God, and when God is "with you" miraculous things come from ordinary inputs. This is why, when getting ready to teach, it is a good deal to exchange research time for time spent on your knees. I like to pray over the individual pages of my notes on Saturday night and Sunday morning. I sense a marked difference in messages when I have done so.

2. Christ-centeredness. Jesus himself tipped us off to a force multiplier: "If I be lifted up I will draw all men to me." Lift up Christ. Worship him. Teach him. Enjoy him. Make Christ the honored guest. When people get their eyes on Jesus, and off of other things, there's renewal and life-change. How long has it been since you've preached about Jesus? I find that a spiritual refreshing comes when you do.

There are also a few lesser force multipliers to consider, like:

1. Humor. G.K. Chesterton said, "Angels fly because they take themselves lightly." Are you taking yourself and your ministry too seriously? If so, lighten up. Smile. Relax. Enjoy. As in sports, everything seems easier when you are loose. Laughter is characteristic of healthy organizations and families. A message given with a smile or two, can be twice as impacting as one with a straight face or frown.

2. Optimism. Is the glass half full, or half empty? It is amazing what a shift in perspective will do for your ministry. Do you see the wonderful people who are in front of you, or the empty seats? Are you rejoicing over the life change that is happening, or pining for what you have yet to see? Do you see the beauty in your organization, or just the defects? Give a good report. Let people in on some good news.

3. Momentum. Success begets success. When you have something go well, and celebrate that, it tends to encourage more of the same. Why is it that some teams tend to win season after season, and others tend to lose? Practice. Once you get used to winning you start planning on it and preparing for it. The same could be said for losing.

4. Surprise. How can you break up the monotony? Is it the "same ol' - same ol'" week after week? How about reversing the order of things? Or putting candy on everyone's chair? Or going on a field trip? Or watching a movie? For the same reason that your home always looks more inviting after you've been on vacation, your ministry can be reinvigorated by introducing an off beat every now and then.

5. Synergy. The definition of synergy is The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. In a Worship Center I believe you get synergy when you bring simultaneous strength in three areas: a) teaching, b) worship and c) kid's ministries. This "three-legged stool" has proved to be powerful. It's a "buy three, get one free" arrangement. If you bring together strong teaching, worship and kid's ministries, you get a fourth component naturally: buzz.

Force multipliers allow you "tilt the battle field." Instead of climbing harder uphill, you start "rolling" down hill. Excellent commanders seek to bring overwhelming force. But they also know that the force doesn't always come from their army. Prior to D-day, Eisenhower spent much of his time coordinating with meteorologists to get a read on the weather. What winds are blowing in your ministry? How can you harness them for greater impact?

No comments: