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103 Easy Steps To Grow The Church Of Your Dreams . . . and One Other One

By Greg Perkins, SMDHealthy.Church
What is it about lists like this that tend to suck us in?  We’ve all done it.  We see a list of steps to get what we want, so we click the mouse only to find that we probably knew most of them already, or we’ve tried a few of them and are convinced they won’t work.  In either case, we love a list…especially if it will help us check the boxes to get what we want, or where we want to go. To be honest, I don’t know if there are “103 Easy Steps” to grow the church of your dreams.  There may only be 102…or 10.  I’m sure we could assemble a great list that would range from passionate vision and unwavering determination to the relentless pursuit of excellence, but no matter how long the list, we will no doubt miss the “one” thing that really matters.  At the end of every list, there is one “other” step needed to accomplish the task, achieve the goal, and arrive at our intended destination…and apparently it’s NOT easy, or everyone would do it.
The Challenge: The difficulty in the “other” step is not in its physical or intellectual demands, or its complicated strategy.  Its difficulty lies in the personal challenge of implementation.  Let me show you what I mean by looking at the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Mark chapter 10. In Mark 10:17, Jesus is approached by a young synagogue leader who is in hot pursuit of a goal…eternal life.  He asked Jesus a seemingly simple question, but got a really complicated two-part answer. Mark 10:17 (KJV)  As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Look at Jesus’ response in v. 19:  You know the commandments:  You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.”  

By Riverside Church, New York, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14265296

Now look at the balance of the conversation in verses 20-22 (KJV):

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this, the man’s face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth.


This was a leader pursuing a goal who was checking the list to see if the project was complete.  The first part of Jesus’ response was very comforting because he had completed all the steps on the list.  But Jesus told him the one thing he lacked…the one “other” step.  Jesus told him to sell everything and follow Him, but the challenge of implementation was too great for this young leader.

The Application:

As leaders, we are all in a pursuit to accomplish the vision God gave us when He called us to ministry.  We’ve followed the steps marked out for us in the Scriptures, we’ve consumed all kinds of leadership resources, and listened to leaders we respect.  But, there has to be more, right?  We haven’t arrived at the intended destination yet, so we keep looking for other lists to complete.  We click on every “3 steps” and “5 ways” blog or article we think will get us what we want, or where we want to go.  What we really lack though…is ONE more thing…and it could be the most important one of all.

For the young leader in Mark 10, the “one more thing” was selling all his possessions, but what is it for you?  I believe the tangible demand of this verse might be different for another leader asking the same question.  That is to say, the “one more thing” is not so much about money or possessions, as it is about the “what” or “who” the leader trusts MORE than Jesus Christ.  The possessions for the Rich Young Ruler represented the “one thing” he was not willing to YIELD to the Lord.

A leader’s inability to YIELD to God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is the “one thing” that most often prevents us from experiencing all God intends in our ministry pursuits.  If we say, “God, I’ll do ANYTHING you want, but I WON’T do THAT,” you may have just found the “one thing” you need to YIELD to Him before completing your list.

Living a YIELDED life as a leader is THE most effective way to achieve God’s plan for your life AND for the organization you lead.  Remaining sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit with EACH STEP you take (no matter how many there are), is the best way to be EXACTLY where God wants you to be.


Living a YIELDED life as a leader is THE most effective way to achieve God’s plan for your life AND for the organization you lead.  Remaining sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit with EACH STEP you take (no matter how many there are), is the best way to be EXACTLY where God wants you to be.



Greg Perkins

Greg Perkins

Church Development Director

Greg Perkins serves as Church Development Director for the Southern Missouri District. He and his wife Di Ann have always had a passion for the local church as well as a deep desire to see healthy, vibrant churches reach their communities with the Gospel.  They bring this passion and desire to their work in and among the churches of Southern Missouri.  The Perkins’ are former lead pastors of First Family Church in Osage Beach, MO, and have spent over 25 years in full-time church ministry in Southern Missouri and Kansas, serving as lead pastor in Marshfield, Missouri and Derby, Kansas.  Di Ann has worked as an executive secretary in real estate, banking, international missions, and Christian higher education. In addition to church leadership, Greg spent 6 years as a Senior Sales and Business Development Representative for two Fortune 500 companies, as well as Director of Chaplains for police agencies in Kansas and Missouri. The Perkins’ have two sons, Brad and Alex. Greg is also the author of a devotional book entitled, “Moments of Destiny,” He is currently working on a series of book projects and also has a devotional blog site, www.momentsofdestiny.com.

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