Top Tips for Solving Ministry Problems Creatively

It doesn’t really matter what your role is in ministry. Perhaps you volunteer to teach a Bible class for children. Maybe you are a paid youth minister. At some point your ministry will need you to come up with an idea or solve a problem and you will be stumped.

Not in the “let me think about it for a second” way, but more like the “famous author who may never have an idea for another book” kind of way. Or sure you jot down a few ideas, but let’s be honest, they aren’t anything exciting. You try asking others to help, but their ideas seem even worse than yours.

I firmly believe that we were created in God’s image. Since He is the Creator, I believe we have been given the ability to create on a more human level. As Christians, we also have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Surely, their must be a way to tap into the Holy Spirit for the creative help we need.

Now, I won’t claim to understand how God can help us find those ideas and solutions we need to minister to others well. I do, however, know He can and does help us. Over the years, I feel like taking what I read in books like Acts and my own personal experiences have led me to use some basic steps that seem to help me even when I am the most puzzled and have no clear hope of coming up with a solution or idea that will work.

  • Don’t panic. No one can think clearly, much less be creative when they have worked themselves into a panic. Do what you need to do to calm down as quickly as possible, no matter how urgently you need the answer.
  • Pray. Sounds pretty basic, but sometimes we take on more responsibility than God may have intended us to do. I have learned to pray very specifically for God’s help when I am stumped. I even ask Him to let me know if this is not something I need to be attempting in the first place. Usually, the answer becomes pretty clear rather quickly either through circumstances or an idea in my head or from someone else.
  • Let it go. Sure, go ahead and sing the song from Frozen if it helps. Letting it go for a few hours or even a few days, reminds me the ministry isn’t mine, it’s God’s. If He wants me to be involved in this, He will provide the help I need.
  • Take a walk and pray while you are walking. When I take these walks, my prayers are more like conversations with God than some of my prayers may normally be. At times I add other concerns in the prayer. Often I find the idea I need comes to be in mid prayer. I won’t claim to say whether it’s from the extra oxygen from walking, the change of scenery, the prayer or the Holy Spirit, but that is when I have found some of what I would call my best ideas.
  • Have lunch with someone. Have your regular conversation, but at some point share your dilemma. Even if the person doesn’t have a great idea immediately, something they say may spark a great idea then or later as you reflect on it.
  • Sleep on it. A well rested mind works better than a sleep deprived one. I can’t recall ever dreaming a solution, but it could happen. Put your phone or a pad and pen by your bed in case an idea comes in the middle of the night. No matter how great it is, if you don’t write it down you may forget it by morning.
  • Soak in some beauty. Go out in nature or stroll through an art exhibit. Look at photos of beautiful things. Even if the idea you need is more practical, there is something about looking at beautiful things that seems to spur creativity.
  • Search the scriptures. Solomon was right. There is nothing new under the sun. It may look a little different, but many of the problems Jesus and others dealt with still face us today. Reading what they did may help you solve a similar issue.

Once that idea comes, don’t forget to run it by people you trust to be godly advisors. You want to make sure the idea is vetted before using it, especially if the stakes are high. As Proverbs councils, advisors are essential. Often your advisors can help you avoid making mistakes or tweak your idea to make it even better.

Finally, don’t forget to thank God for His help and ask Him to guide you as you attempt to implement the idea. Don’t become so enamored of the idea that you ignore all of the circumstances, people and or scriptures God may send you to let you know you need to change or abandon the idea. In many ways, humility may be the ultimate key to the great idea or solution you need in your ministry.

Categories Encouragement
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