When I set out to start training for my full marathon, I didn't put a lot of thought into how I would train. I simply jumped on runnersworld.com and downloaded the most commonly used training program. It basically focused on running four times per week, slowly increasing total miles run each week. It was a common method, so I assumed it would work best.
Well, it didn't. Each time I got to the 13-14 mile range in my training, I suffered from the I.T. Band injury I spoke about in my second blog post on this series. I began to get very frustrated with this. I talked to a friend of mine who had completed several marathons, and he suggested I look into Jeff Galloway's "run-walk-run" method.
This method is exactly what it sounds like. You run for a minute, then walk for a minute, then run for a minute. It seemed totally ludicrous to me. I thought, "I will end up with a tremendously slow race time if I do that. That's dumb." One thing is for sure, what I was doing wasn't working, so I tried it.
The amazing thing is, I actually had a FASTER time doing the run-walk-run method than when I just "gutted it up" and ran the whole thing. In fact, during the "run" part of the run-walk-run, I was running at a pace that was 3 minutes per mile faster than my average time when I RAN the whole thing. CRAZY!
LESSON #4 - "There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat!"
In other words, "be open to new ways of doing things." If only I would have taken the time to talk with my friend who had climbed this mountain before when I first began my training. I might have saved the heartache of injury and being knocked out of my first marathon. I might have achieved my goal a whole year prior to when I did. Human nature is to assume that the most common way is the best way to do things.
Tried and true is never the only way to do anything and may not be the best way. This includes in ministry. With the technological and educational advances of the last decade, there are almost always better, faster, and easier ways to do things than there were even 6 months ago. The problem is, often we get in our own way. What we need to do is let go of our resistance to new, be willing to experiment with ways that may seem ludicrous to us at first.
What about you? Are you resistant to ways of doing ministry that are different from what you are used to? Do you find yourself scoffing at those who manage their time, organize their life, or train their team differently than you do? What is an area in your life or ministry in which you need to "challenge the process" and try doing things differently for a while? You never know - you may end up finding that it is more productive and efficient than what you are currently doing.
"If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always gotten." - Mark Twain