Just last week, I watched the film, "No Impact Man." It documents one year in the life of a young man attempting to make no impact environmentally on plant earth.

The movie got me thinking... as Christians and YFC staff, most of us would be horrified to be labeled as "No Impact Man" (or woman).  

Over the years, I've learned a great deal from Christian leaders who are having incredible impact in their ministries.  I'm passing along the top five lessons I've learned from them in the hope it will increase your Kingdom impact.  

1. Be Clear

Ask yourself:  Am I able to clearly state the ministry assignment God has called me to in a few sentences?  

  - We are trying to share the gospel and follow up with every teen
    who comes to the Raymond Hall detention facility.

  - We have a vision to reach out to every teen parent in LaCrosse

  - City Life's vision is to have deep change for Christ in this
    Cleveland urban neighborhood through the raising of leaders from
    our community.

Repeat your ministry assignment in communication with others until you are blue in the face.  The true test of your clarity comes when your donors, volunteers, and teen leaders are able to articulate your team's ministry assignment as well as you can.   

2. Be Focused

Ask yourself:  Does my daily schedule build towards accomplishing the assignment God has given me?  

The busyness of everyday ministry makes it easy to cruise through life without focus. For maximum impact, connect your daily schedule back to your ministry assignment. Take a close look at your schedule to see where you need increased levels of focus.  Here are some common areas that can lack of focus: prayer life, internet surfing, Bible reading, book reading, volunteer trainings, supervisory meetings, committee/board meetings, ministry relationships and planning times.

3. Be Honest

Ask yourself:  Which areas of our ministry and my leadership need improvement?  

Sometimes even the clearest and most focused leader can fail as a result of their inability to make an honest evaluation of their work.  To maximize impact, create a list that celebrates what God is doing and lists areas that need improvement.             

What Is Going Well

   - Contacting and club growth - 15 new students this month!

   - Volunteer training meetings launched

   - Prayer communication going out weekly
Areas that Needs Improvement

   - Young leaders Bible study is lacking prayerful preparation

   - I'm avoiding one-on-one appointments with volunteers

   - I often do what I feel like doing first, procrastinating on most
     important tasks.

   - I am often defensive when corrected by my supervisor.

4. Be Teachable

Ask yourself:  Is there someone I know who has strengths in my areas of weakness?

Once you have become aware of your areas of weakness, don't just wait for a teacher or a mentor to come your way... seek out their wisdom!  Think of different ways you could proactively glean from the leadership experience of others:   

   - Ask them for an hour on the phone

   - Ask them to share their story with you about how this became an
     area of strength for them

   - Ask them to mentor you

"An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge."  Proverbs 18:15.
5. Be Patient

Ask yourself:  Am I trying to grow this ministry in my timing or in God's timing?

Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your ministry or your character!  Lives of maximum impact don't grow overnight like mushrooms, but grow slowly over time like trees.  Think less about being "successful" in ministry or applying quick fixes for volumes of growth. Rather, spend more time thinking and praying about being faithful to what God has called you to and allowing Him to give you the increase over time.    

Hopefully, with these 5 lessons in mind, Youth for Christ workers will never be labeled as "No Impact Men/Women!"

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