Four ways to Break out of that Tiresome Rut

"If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done." (Ecclesiastes 11:4, LB)

It's easy to get stuck in a rut in ministry – same place –same thing – same responsibility.

But settling into a rut is dangerous. As Will Rogers used to say, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!"

What does it take to get you moving?

There are three common motivators:

PAIN: Often it's not "seeing the light" that gets us going, but "feeling the heat." You delay the dentist appointment until the pain is unbearable.

PRESSURE: When the doctor says "Lose 50 pounds or die," or the boss says "Improve performance or be fired," that pressure will motivate you to make a change. The problem with pressure as a motivator is that it doesn't last. When the pressure subsides, so does your motivation. There is a better motivator.

PERSPECTIVE: When you see the big picture, or when you're inspired by a challenging vision or purpose, you've found the best motivator of all – perspective. You realize that you're wasting your potential.

The Bible says, "If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done." (Ecclesiastes 11:4, LB)

Four Steps for Getting Out of the Rut

  1. ASSUME responsibility for your own life. Refuse to be either an excuser (rationalize failure) or an accuser (blame others). Instead, be a chooser, and choose to break out of the rut you're in.
  2. BELIEVE you can change! Stop saying "I can't" and start saying "I can."
  3. CLARIFY what you really want. Write down specifically how you'd like to change.
  4. DON'T WAIT for ideal circumstances. Stop saying "When things settle down ...." Do it now! "One of these days" is really none of these days.

PRAY THIS: "God help me to do something differently this week and to do it better. Give me your strength to change."

This article is used by permission from From Rick Warren's Ministry ToolBox, a free weekly e-newsletter for those in ministry. www.pastors.com.