The 1 Thing That Is Holding Back Your Ministry

You’ve been in your ministry position for a couple years. Many good things have happened since you’ve come on board. The church is in a better place. Lives are being changed. Community is being formed.

But, you feel stagnate. You can’t seem to get the ministry past the unknown hurdle that is in front of you. You want to move past it so that you can continue to see the growth that you saw in your first couple years. You know that your ministry is only about a 7 out of 10. You want to get it to a 10.

What’s holding you back?

It’s the same thing that is holding me back: it’s ourselves.

There have been many times over the years that I have felt that my ministry has come to a halt in terms of growth and impact. Every time it has, I know that it’s been me that a has caused this stagnate experience.

Every organization and every ministry I have been a part of has a lid. The lid is the uppermost spot in which it can grow to. Our goal as leaders in ministry is to constantly push that lid further and further upwards. The only way to push that lid upwards is to push myself upwards.

I am the lid that holds my ministry back.

Translation: you are the lid that holds your ministry back.

If I want my ministry to keep expanding and growing, if I want to continue to have a huge impact in the lives of those I serve, I need to challenge myself to raise the lid. How do we do that?

  1. Keep growing. When I hit the lid, it is usually because I have stopped learning. When I feel that lid, that’s when I start to go into high growth gear. Check out my series on Growing as a Leader for different strategies to creating a personal and professional growth plan for yourself.
  2. Leave your ministry…for a day. When we are in the thick of our ministry, it can be difficult to see the big picture. When all we see are trees close up, it’s hard to see the entire forest. Take a day away by yourself to see the big picture of your ministry. Take time to evaluate and really think through what is working and what is not. Sometimes, all we have to do is leave our church desk, our email, and our ministry programs to gain some perspective about what’s going on.
  3. Constantly re-prioritize. I have found that when I begin to feel that I have hit the lid for my ministry, it’s usually because I have lost focus, I am spread too thin, and I am trying to do too much. Every couple of years or so, I find a need to take a look at our priorities and make adjustments as necessary. After a couple years, it can be easy to lose sight of what is most important for your ministry. Sometimes this is caused by growth in your ministry. When the ministry grows and expands, when your team of staff and volunteers become more competent and confident, this requires a shift. Where are you spending the most time? Is that the best place to spend that time? I’ve discovered year after year that what was the best place to spend my time two years ago is not the best place to spend my time now. Time to re-prioritize.

Question: Do you feel that your ministry has hit a lid? What can you do to change it?

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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