Is Your Mindset Killing Your Ministry?

Is Your Mindset Killing Your Ministry?

Carol Dweck believes that your mindset might be killing your ministry. And you might want to listen to her.

In addition to being a psychology professor at Stanford University, she’s one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation.

In her book, Mindset, she contrasts the fixed mindset with the growth mindset.

She says that people with fixed mindsets see their potential as set in stone. They would say, “You are who you are, and that’s who you’ll always be. There’s nothing you can do about it. You just have to live with it.” These people don’t believe that lasting change is possible, and they’re quick to give up when obstacles get in their way.

On the other hand, she says the “growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts… The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset.

Many of the youth pastors that I coach start off with a fixed mindset when it comes to their abilities. Not only that, they also have a fixed mindset when it comes to their church and their ministry.

They say things like, “This place is never going to change.”
Or, “Those people are set in their ways.”
Or, “Our group is never going to grow. We’ve tried everything.”

Maybe you’ve said those things yourself.

But what would happen if you adopted a growth mindset?

How might your thoughts about your abilities, your church, and your ministry be different if you approached them with the belief that they can change and get better?

Instead of saying, “Our group is never going to grow,” you would say, “Our group hasn’t grown yet, but we’re on the brink of something big!”

Do you see how that would make a difference?

And what about dealing with those people who seem set in their ways?

Instead of seeing them as immovable obstacles, you could say, “They haven’t come around yet, but I think we’re making good progress.”

Do you see the difference?

It’s important for you to understand that your mindset makes all the difference.

If you think it’s impossible, it will be.
If you think it’s possible, it is.

Your Move

Your job is to change your mindset.
It might be the only thing that’s holding you back.

Books Mentioned in This Post:

Mindset by Carol Dweck

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Trevor Hamaker (DMin, McAfee School of Theology) is an author, adjunct professor, and youth ministry coach. He helps youth pastors see their potential, develop their skills, and reach their goals.

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