If it Ain’t Broke… FIX IT!

Growing up, I always heard the expression “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I have found this to be true for most things in life. I am not looking to replace my truck’s transmission, take cholesterol medicine, or ask my wife to put a patch on new jeans.

Photo courtesy of humusak2 at www.FreeImages.com

Photo courtesy of humusak2 at www.FreeImages.com

None of those things need to be fixed and the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality serves us pretty well in life. However, it does not serve us well in ministry. We get things just how we like them, and we are content to stay in that place rather than reach for what else is possible. We become satisfied with the status quo.

We get things just how we like them, and we are content to stay in that place rather than reach for what else is possible. We become satisfied with the status quo.

In all honesty, I am guilty of this. When I first came to CrossRoads, in Daytona Beach, we were averaging about seven to ten on a Sunday morning with a high of fifteen people in our Life Group class. I was content with that. We had our small group, interpreted for them in church, and then came back to interpret church that afternoon. Our other interpreter, however, introduced the idea of setting up a Deaf Church service. (She had pitched the idea before I had even come there). When I heard it, I initially disregarded the idea. I thought that our Deaf Ministry was doing fine. I thought a church service for the Deaf would be more work with the same result. I thought, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I was wrong.

Even though I initially disregarded the idea, thankfully I did not write it off. I started to mull on the idea of us having a Deaf church service. As time went on, my negativity and objections became more hopeful and optimistic. My focus began to shift from the problems to the benefits. That idea I initially disregarded became more palatable to me.

I thought, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I was wrong.

My real issue was not the idea. It was an excellent idea! My issue was that I became content with the status quo in our Deaf Ministry. I was happy to leave things how they were and not go trying to fix things that weren’t “broken.” This is a common trap for everyone, particularly people serving in some kind of ministry. Eventually, I did get past my contentment. God worked on me and helped me to do a couple of things.

  1. God helped me to quit focusing on the negative. Something that I have noticed is that there are a million different reasons for people not to do something. “I don’t want to go to church because it’s cold” or “I don’t have the time to serve” are pretty common examples of this. People will often focus on the negative part of doing something. The fact that it is cold, or will use a lot of time. If we are going to escape this “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, we cannot focus solely on the negative aspects of what we are thinking about doing.
  2. God helped me to start focusing on the positive. It was not enough for me to just get my mind off the negative, I needed to turn my focus on the positive. I needed to realize that there was so much more God could do if I was willing to become discontent with the status quo.

I was able to get past my contentment, and we started a Deaf church service May 26, 2013. Our attendance shot up from averaging seven to ten, with a high day of fifteen people on a Sunday morning, to averaging twenty-two people every Sunday since the change. Getting into the low thirties is not uncommon (and in the last few weeks has become normal). Even more important than the numbers, we have seen Deaf people memorizing the Bible, serving God, and, most of all, entering into relationships with Jesus Christ. All that from an idea I disregarded!

We need to look for those opportunities in our ministries to “fix” things, just like Jesus, who saw opportunity in His ministry (John 4:35). When we find these things, we need to act on them. Just as God’s people need prophetic vision and guidance from God (Proverbs 29:18), we need to lay down that vision and lead our Deaf Ministries where they need to go. I don’t tell you all that to pat myself on the back. (It is fair to say that God did all this in spite of me.) I share this with you because I want you to step out of your comfort zone, find something that is not broke, and fix it.

When have you taken a step out of your comfort zone? What happened? What is not broken but still needs to be fixed? Share your thoughts here.