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We Get What We Expect (And We Expect What We Get)

We all have expectations. Expectations for our staff, their board, attendance, programs, and plans. Some aim high to break new highs, others hope to maintain the status quo. Still, others just want to survive.


We get what we expect.

And we expect what we get.

Those were the words that stood out to me in a Seth Godin blog piece I re-read recently.

As church leaders, many times this is true.

I've worked with hundreds of church leaders over the years. We all have expectations. Expectations for our staff, board... for attendance, for giving trends... for programs and ministry plans.


Of course, 2020 has blown up any plans that we may have previously made.


But we still need to move on... in fact, if you haven't been planning, you're in trouble in this current changing church culture.

Some aim high to break new highs, others hope to maintain the status quo. Still, others hope to turn around existing patterns just to survive.

But we all have expectations. Rarely do we ever outperform these expectations. Our mind plays funny tricks on us when it comes to expectations.

Growth doesn't just happen. Spiritual health and vitality in a congregation rarely just happens. Revival and renewal seldom break out without someone really working hard and expecting something to happen.

(Of course, sometimes God absolutely breaks through and shows Himself when we have no plan or expectation, but I haven't seen that as the norm. Usually, His working many times comes back to at least us inviting Him to work and having at least some level of expectation).


Let's talk this through...

What are you expecting God to do in your life and the life of your church in the next week? month? year?

God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (our expectations). (Ephesians 3:20)

Could it be that we're not expecting ENOUGH?

And sometimes (maybe this is you today), we aren't really expecting ANYTHING other than to make it through our day or week.

Hey... I'm within you. So many days (especially Mondays for some reason), we are so busy putting out fires to really even think about what we hope/expect God will do in our lives and our work.

CHALLENGE FOR THIS WEEK:  What is reasonable to expect from God for your life and your church ministry this week?

Seriously. Get out a blank piece of paper and write it down.

I'll wait patiently here while you do that.


Now double it.

Think I'm crazy?

Re-read Ephesians 3:30. Especially the 'abundantly above' part.

We get what we expect.

But in teamwork with our Leader, we can get much MORE than we expect.

Give it a try this week. And let me know what happens!




PS - If you're needing a little help with your planning and expectations, we've teamed up with Reggie McNeal for a special four-week online lab on "Discipleship in a Digital Age".  This is great, particularly if you're trying to lay out your plans and expectations for how you will engage people (both in-person and online) in the next months.  Reggie will challenge you and help you determine a plan of attack for 2021 in the area of discipleship.  This lab is high-impact and high-touch, but also limited to just a few people.  As of this morning, there were only two spots left.  If you're interested in one of these two spots, register right now.  (If you miss this lab, we can put you on the waiting list for the next one).  HEADS UP:  This lab starts TOMORROW (Tuesday).  Register here right now...

Todd Rhoades

Todd Rhoades

Todd has invested over 30 years in serving churches, having served as a worship pastor for over 15 years, a church elder for more than a decade, and in various ministry leadership roles in both the business and non-profit sectors. As the original founder and developer of ChurchStaffing.com, Todd fundamentally changed the way thousands of churches search for pastors and staff on the internet. Todd is a graduate of Cedarville University, and lives in Bryan, OH with his wife, Dawn.

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