Why overcoming negativity is crucial to fruitful ministry

April 29, 2021

One of the greatest enemies of longevity in ministry is negativity. This disease presents its hideous face in many ways in our personal lives and ministries.

Like many other hindrances to our walk with the Lord and our relationships with family, friends and those we lead in our churches, habitual negative thinking is like a metastasized cancer. It may start in exceedingly small ways, but it almost always spreads and can even dominate our attitudes and actions toward people, including those whom we love most.

Are there people or situations that always push you into negative thinking? Or do you excoriate yourself anytime you make a mistake or hear a word of criticism? Yes, negative thoughts can also be aimed at ourselves.

Negative thoughts and actions can have disastrous impacts on both our hearts and our ministries. Negativity is displeasing to our Father God and counterproductive to our efforts to know Christ and to make Him known.

Therefore, we need a plan to be able to surrender our hearts to God’s patient guidance in this area. As Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The apostle Paul had many reasons in his life to be negative. But through the love and direction of Christ, the Holy Spirit excised this cancer in his life.

Negative thoughts and actions can have disastrous impacts on both our hearts and our ministries.

Philippians 4:8-9 has been one of God’s truth-giving tutors for me to fight this insidious obstruction throughout my life. Allow these words to permeate your heart today.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

We find the battle begins in our heart and is waged in our minds. Isaiah 26:3 states, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” In his commentary on Philippians, Warren Wiersbe puts it this way: “Wrong thinking leads to wrong feeling, and before long the heart and the mind are pulled apart.”

To be victorious in the trenches of fighting these destructive perceptions, we must “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” as Paul challenged us in 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Based on Paul’s instruction in Philippians 4, here is a strategy to help fight against negativity. Consider meditating on each of these eight categories, one per day, for as long as you are able: true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue and praiseworthy.

You might consider thinking about one of these things as you drive. Or maybe have a conversation with your spouse or a friend about what one of these concepts means to them. Explore. Evaluate. Consider. Let God enlighten and lighten your heart. Start today.

I pray you will not only be encouraged but changed from being prone to having negative thoughts to being in control of them. In God’s time, I pray you will find deliverance from hurtful thoughts to freedom in Christ.

This transformation will be a major step toward perseverance in the ministry into which God has called and led you.


by Michael Cummings 
/  Contract worker for Church Health and Revitalization  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!