5 Ways to Keep Your Focus When Ministry Panic Sets In


As we headed into the hectic  Women’s Leadership Forum  season which included two YOU Lead  training events  as well, both Mary Margaret Collingsworth (Women’s Forum event coordinator) and I felt a big panic coming on.

Think with me a minute about your most recent ministry panic.  Did you get a picture of yourself?  What was your ministry panic experience?

Driving to work the morning after the panic, what I call my “forum tic” (when someone says, “Isn’t the Forum coming up soon?”) set in. Toby Mac’s song  Steal My Show came on the radio. The Lord said to my heart, “Chris, it’s not YOUR show so why are you thinking it is?”  I was reminded once again why we serve the Lord… because it’s HIS show!

The Lord also reminded me of a verse that helped me focus during a very difficult ministry season.  “Let the morning being me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you, show me the way that I should go for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8 (NIV)

That morning, I shared with Mary Margaret this verse, Toby’s song, and also a sweet prayer that a friend of mine prayed for me in the past that I was reclaiming: “I pray for a peace that passes all understanding, but not only peace, calmness inside, where you don’t feel like you are running all the time. I pray that your concerns, that are ever present, will be all wrapped up in His assurance that He is always with you and that He is using every thought, every feeling, every anxious moment in every life to ultimately make manifest His love.”

I cannot tell you the difference it has made. While it hasn’t removed all obstacles to smooth every step, it has caused me to re-focus on Him in the midst of this hectic season.  Knowing it’s HIS show and up to Him to move us to accomplish it His way, shows me His power!

Women’s leader Wendy Pope recently said in a conference, “The spiritual transformation of our audience rests on bigger and more capable shoulders than mine.”  Aren’t you glad?  No matter who your audience is, a small group of women you teach on Sunday morning or the overall women at large in your church, the responsibility for spiritual transformation rests on the Lord’s shoulders, not yours!

May I suggest five things next time panic sets in:

  1. Remind yourself that it is “His show”
  2. Quote Scripture that speaks into the situation (use Psalm 143:8 if you need it!)
  3. Ask a friend to pray with and for you
  4. Sing a song that claims truth about the situation and sing it over and over (or play it on your iPhone if you can’t sing!)
  5. Remember that spiritual transformation is God’s job and on His shoulders. Just obey as He lets you in on a small part of it!


  1. says

    I think what I love most about this blog is how you will share the real challenges that you experience in ministry. Its as if I could have written that blog ( if that was my gift :). God has been teaching me those very things in the ministry He has called me to do. I am in the last 4 weeks of one of those “ministry seasons” as well. I was anxious when I saw this season approaching but made sure to spend extra time “sitting at His feet”. Its works! It really does! God has caused me to be much more peaceful and even allowed me to really see His hand at work not only in my life but my family and the women in my sphere of influence. Looking forward to the forum and deeply appreciate the ministry of the blog. Thank you Chris.

    • Chris Adams says

      You know, with the theme for our Forum next week, Filling Up & Pouring Out, I am experiencing it even more right now…SO important to fill up if we desire to pour out for Him! We share what we are currently learning!

  2. Mary T says

    Chris. Loved this post! I believe this applies to all our life’s ministries…God’s purpose for each of us! Definitely going to flag this email so I can come back to it time and again!

  3. says

    Thank you for this post Chris, and the 5 ways to combat panic and doubt. Your post reminded me of an experience I had prior to speaking at a women’s event at church last month. We hold these events, Bagels & Blessings, several times during the year. In September, we welcomed an amazing speaker who flew down from NYC. She’s a gifted musician, worship leader, and evangelist who has appeared on TBN and other such venues. As I was preparing for the October event, my heart felt a bit heavy. In my prayer time I recall mentioning to the Lord “God, thank you for this opportunity to speak, but coming right after Aaron? That’s a pretty hard act to follow.” The Lord “gently” reminded me for one thing it’s not Aaron’s act or my act, it’s His act; and for another thing, it’s not “acting” it’s “action” so get ready! As I climbed the stairs to the platform that morning in October, I said audibly “Ok Holy Spirit, we’re on, I’m ready for some action!” He sure came through as He always does; He is faithful. Blessings to you, and see you at YOULead this week!!

    • chris adams says

      Oh, I am so glad this hit home with you, Doris! I know exactly what you are talking about! So glad we will see you Thursday!

  4. says

    When I receive email from Lifeway, I sometimes pull them into a folder to read later. Sometimes given the subject, I click on it right away…as I did this one. While preparing for a Stonecroft Ministries event in Pinehurst, North Carolina this weekend – I am feeling the “Ministry Panic.” My part is to share about recent ministry events in our town to about one hundred women – yesterday “panic set in.” And, there was your “5 ways to keep your focus” with your wonderful honest sharing WITH resources. I try to remember “It’s not about me” but as I begin to prepare my part on the program, self sure keeps butting in, LOL. Thank you for this reality check – it’s HIS show…So neat how He speaks to us in various ways, He spoke to me through your blog…Thank you so much!

    • chris adams says

      Arlene, I am so blessed that you were blessed. Thank you so much for your encouragement. This was just where God had me this past couple of weeks! Grateful someone else benefits from what God is teaching me too!

  5. Carmen says

    Last night I met with a mentor and duscussed my feelings about ministry. I told her, I don’t want to mess this up! Our women mean so much to me. She reminded me that it’s God who changes lives. He has a plan & I’m just not powerful enough to keep it from happening. This morning I read this. I believe Margaret Feinberg would call this post a “sacred echo”. I needed this today. Thanks for your transparency & your obedience.

    • Chris Adams says

      I absolutely love how God times things perfectly like this perfectly!!! Thank you for sharing how He used this!

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