As we barrel towards the end of one season, it’s time to start looking out at what’s coming next and making plans, right? Goals, action lists, strategies …. you know that’s what I’m all about.
But what if we look out and it seems cloudy? Despite carefully laid plans and thoughtfully completed worksheets, maybe this has not been your breakthrough season. You followed all the scripts but the ebook launch flopped. Exactly 3 people took part in the challenge that was supposed to EXPLODE your email list.
Or maybe it has been GREAT! Good for you! But success brings its own set of struggles. Growth is straining your capacity to manage it all. New opportunities come with technical and relational challenges.
In good times and bad, running a ministry can feel like being on a tiny boat bouncing around on the waves. Tossed and driven by the winds of the next big idea or newest hot blogging trend that just HAS to make things better.
Before we can look ahead and chart the course for the next leg of our journey, re-connecting with our anchors settles our soul. And rest assured … strategies and goals and plans are meaningless if we are not doing the things that satisfy our souls.
I’ve been reading Judah Smith’s new book How’s Your Soul? Why Everything that Matters Starts with the Inside You. I love what he has to say about anchors.
An anchor does its best work where it is never seen. An anchor plunges through the depths of the sea until it settles and wedges itself into the ocean floor. Meanwhile, back on the surface, in the boat that is your soul, you continue to be buffeted by the elements of life. All you can see in the moment are the wind and waves. But under the surface, you have an anchor.
I found this great verse about anchors in the book of Acts. Chapter 27 is about an ill-fated voyage that Paul was on. Verse 29 says,
Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. Acts 27:29 (NIV)
Have you every felt like that? Praying for a little daylight? Just like Paul and his sailors dropped four anchors, let’s spend the next month dropping four anchors that will help us steady ourselves.
Over the next few weeks, let’s dive under the surface. We’ll uncover our Joy Anchors … the things that remind us why we do what we do. We’ll find our Anchor People …. the ones who make it all worth it. And we’ll grab on to our Ministry Anchors … the basics that make it all possible.
We start by going to the Anchor of our soul first. Because in all the busyness and business of leading and growing, we need something that holds us fast. An anchor verse for your ministry can keep you centered … oh, you may drift a bit, you may float to the edge of the stream. But your anchor keeps you from getting too far from where you belong … from where you are safe.
Last year, I wrote a post for Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies about finding your life verse. And this exercise of finding an anchor verse for your ministry is similar. But what is it not? It’s not your purpose or part of your tagline. Those things are important parts of your ministry, but they are forward-facing … they define your ministry for those you serve. Your anchor verse defines your ministry for you.
Start by asking yourself a couple of questions:
- What do you want God to do through your ministry? What seems to be in short supply in life when it’s really needed?
- What are your strengths and passions? What moves you, motivates you, makes your heart sing?
After you have thought about the needs and your passions, pick three or four “themes” that are important in your ministry. Go to Biblegateway.com and enter those key words in the search box to find verses that contain your ministry themes. Write down the verses that say something about your heart and work with God.
Pray over the verses you find. How will you spot your anchor verse? Easy! Your anchor verse is the one that makes your heart go “Ahhhhhh …” as it breathes new life into you and your ministry!
But I’m going to give you a challenge .. Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 12:2 and a few others are common ones that many people choose to represent their lives or their ministry. But, seriously. There are 31,102 verses in the Bible. Dig deep and find one that is uniquely yours.
After you have selected your verse, get to know it inside out. Break it down. Memorize it. Look for a song that refers to the themes in the verse. Interact with your anchor verse until it settles and wedges itself in the depths of your soul.
And remember, choosing an anchor verse doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep it forever. Your anchor verse can change as your ministry enters new seasons.
If you’ve settled on an anchor verse for your ministry, share it with us!