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‘Whatever it takes’ attitude underscored by Johnny Hunt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Pastors and Christian leaders need a “whatever it takes” mentality toward their ministry, Johnny Hunt said during Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s “The Shepherd and His Sheep” conference April 12.

Hunt, senior pastor of the Atlanta-area First Baptist Church of Woodstock, said helping pastors and ministers is one of his top goals in ministry, behind evangelizing the lost and discipling believers.

Voicing a heart to “help pastors to succeed,” Hunt said, “I want to empower them, to encourage them to make a difference for God’s Kingdom.”

Midwestern President R. Philip Roberts underscored Hunt’s words. “Johnny Hunt is an exceptional pastoral leader,” Roberts said, “and we were honored to have him lead us in such an effective and encouraging experience.”

The first step in developing a whatever-it-takes attitude is passion, Hunt said in addressing the conference’s 260 participants at the Kansas City, Mo., camus.

“‘Whatever’ means you will do everything to pursue your life’s cause,” Hunt said.

Passion for something will “plow through, jump over or dig under its obstacles,” Hunt said, describing his own passion as “refusing to leave the world the way I found it.”

Hunt listed five reasons people lack passion: they allow the “precious to become familiar,” they focus on “acceptance and approval,” the society they live in is passive, apathy increases as they get older and they see no purpose beyond themselves.

Hunt said his passion drives him to continue in ministry.

“Passion may be the only thing going for you, but with God’s help it may be the only thing you need,” he said. “My passion for Christ, His Word, His people, His calling; it just fuels my soul.”

He added: “Passion is what gives extravagance to ministry.”

Second, a whatever-it-takes mentality involves focus, Hunt said.

“Our churches today have plenty of speed,” he observed, “but they don’t seem to know what direction they’re going.”

Focus in the church begins with a focused leader, Hunt said.

Being focused, he said, involves managing six areas well: time, priorities, resources, budget, people and influence.

The third component, Hunt said, is determination.

Determination involves a persistence that does not accept defeat, “rules out failure” and “says, ‘I will not give up,’” Hunt said.

“The only true measurement of determination,” he pointed out, “is action.”

The fourth component of a whatever-it-takes mentality is not making excuses, Hunt said.

“‘Whatever it takes’ means that you will eliminate the somethings that will prevent your life’s cause,” he said. “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

The only person who believes an excuse, he said, is usually the one offering it.

“Doing whatever it takes starts with passion, proceeds to focus, maintains determination, and concludes with accomplishment, not excuses,” Hunt said.

“Passion gives you priorities, focus gives you your concentration, and determination your willpower,” he said, listing six principles that guide his life and ministry:

— Calling to a higher standard.

— Knowing his purpose in life.

— Refusing the status quo.

— Facing great questions, like “What would I attempt if I knew I could not fail?”

— Teaching others to be givers.

— Measuring growth.

    About the Author

  • Cory Miller