SBC Life Articles

Pastoral Ministry — Whatever It Takes

Addressing a capacity crowd of more than 260, Atlanta-area pastor Johnny Hunt said pastors and Christian leaders need a "whatever it takes" mentality toward ministry during "The Shepherd and His Sheep" conference, April 12, at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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

"I want 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, Dr. R. Philip Roberts, said Hunt's presence on the Kansas City campus did just that.

"The conference was an outstanding event," Roberts said. "Johnny Hunt is an exceptional pastoral leader, and we were honored to have him lead us in such an effective and encouraging experience."

In developing a "whatever it takes" attitude, Hunt said the first step is passion.

"'Whatever' means you will do everything to pursue your life's cause," Hunt said.

According to Hunt, passion for something will "plow through, jump over, or dig under its obstacles." He said his passion involves "refusing to leave the world the way I found it."

Hunt gave 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 on in ministry.

"Passion may be the only thing going for you, but with God's help it may be the only thing you need," Hunt said. "My passion for Christ, His Word, His people, His calling, it just fuels my soul."

Added Hunt: "Passion is what gives extravagance to ministry."

Second, Hunt said the "whatever it takes" mentality involves focus.

"Our churches today have plenty of speed, but they don't seem to know what direction they're going," Hunt said.

He said focus in the church begins with a focused leader.

According to Hunt, being focused involves managing six areas well: time, priorities, resources, budget, people, and influence.

The third component, Hunt said, is determination.

He said determination involves a persistence that does not accept defeat, "rules out failure," and "says, 'I will not give up.'"

"The only true measurement of determination is action," Hunt said.

The fourth component of the "whatever it takes" mentality is not making excuses.

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

Hunt said the only person who believes an excuse is usually the one offering it.

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

"Passion gives you priorities, focus gives you your concentration, and determination your willpower."

Hunt said six principles 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; and,

• Measuring growth.

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  • SBC Staff