Jump directly to the Content


A look at one of the greatest gifts a pastor can give a congregation.

Recently I was talking with a minister who had just returned from a missions trip.

"What did you accomplish?" I asked.

"Well, the most important thing I did with the small churches in difficult situations," he said, "was give them permission to succeed."

That was an interesting thought. He must have sensed they saw themselves as losers. Their ministry was supposed to be tough, and they couldn't expect more than meager results. He realized they needed to raise their sights, to see the opportunities for success.

His remark brought to mind a story about one of the gifted golfers on the LPGA tour. This woman, a Christian, possessed enormous talent but couldn't get in the win column. In frustration, she went to a Christian counselor who discovered a surprising thing: subconsciously she didn't think of Christians as winners. She had been raised in a strict home where she was taught that Christians are passive, they lose more comfortably than they win, they're volunteer martyrs. As a result, she ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Bacteria in the Body
Bacteria in the Body
How can we build strong churches when we keep attracting weak, even unhealthy, people?
From the Magazine
Charisma and Its Companions
Charisma and Its Companions
Church movements need magnetic leaders. But the best leaders need more than charm.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.