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The past couple days we’ve had a chance to peek inside of the ministries of Josh and Kurt, and look at a few failures and what was learned from them. Fortunately for me, as I sit and write to you today, I’ve never experienced the embarrassment, guilt, and paralyzing terror of making a mistake in ministry… Okay, that is so not true!

As I’m sure we’re all aware, failure is always lurking in the shadows, looking for an opportunity to strike. And as we’ve seen there are lessons to be learned from them for sure. Here are some of my takeaways from my multiple mistakes, and a few things I try to ensure comes out of them… Unless, of course, I fail to walk through these steps.

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Own it—Yes, I messed up; no one forced me into this failure. I’m not a victim of circumstance. I failed. Shifting blame, pretending it didn’t happen, or sweeping the consequences under the rug will only serve to shoot holes in your credibility. In the end you come off as an elitist. Be real, be a grown up, and own it.

Make it right—This may be even tougher than owning it. Swallow your pride and make it right. There are a number of times I’ve either stood one-on-one, or even in front of the whole group during a youth service, called myself out, and made it right when the situation called for it. It’s tough, but being vulnerable and transparent to your students, volunteers, and parents creates deeper community, and opens opportunity for them to share their failures with you in the future.

Learn from it—Whether it’s putting plans and procedures in place to prevent, or taking action to minimize these failures in the future, or coming to a deeper understanding of yourself and your ministry, we often learn more from our failures than our successes. So take time in the aftermath and learn from your failures.

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A 6-week Christmas Series for YOU!
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Failure is often associated with ineptness, carelessness, falling short, and letting others down. But failure is, and should be viewed as, an opportunity to learn and grow. More importantly, failure should remind us of our constant need for Christ; without his grace we would be left to our own righteousness, and we all know what that looks like.

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