Shelf life is the length of time certain items are given before they are considered unsuitable for use or consumption. It is the time in which the defined quality remains fresh, acceptable, viable, usable, and effective under normal or expected circumstances.
Ministry shelf life has been impacted negatively in response to the desire for a younger presence and fresh image from ministry leaders. Forced termination or demotion of leaders as a result of this epidemic reminds us that the ministry shelf life where we serve is not always ours to control. What we do control, however, is that we serve and continue to do what we can to remain viable and usable even if it is no longer here.
Ministry leaders who coast and ignore steps to actively increase their shelf life often find themselves only prepared to lead a church or ministry that no longer exists. What they once learned is not nearly enough to sustain them for their entire ministry. So, what can leaders do now to increase their shelf life before their freshness date expires?
Recalibrate – Plan or devise carefully so as to have a precise use, application, or appeal; Fine-tune; Make corrections or adjust; Revamp; Recast; Refashion; Reform; Remodel; Reconstruct; Renovate; Revise; Rēcreate; Start something new; Refurbish; Reimagine or form a new concept; Reinvest; Refabricate; Reinvent.
Redux – Reboot or Restart; Go back to the beginning and do it better the second time; Restore life or vigor; Reawaken once again in strength and potency; Reinterpret an older work; Discover something that was weakened can be brought back to full strength with the capability to again be a force to contend with.
Rĕcreate – Engage in recreational activities other than work; Occupy oneself in a diversion; Play; Relax in order to attain equilibrium; Reinvigorate; Revive; Refresh mentally and/or physically; Rest; Impart fresh life; Lighten up; Seek contentment; Engage in an activity of leisure; Take discretionary time; Enjoy; Be amused; Value pleasure.
Rededicate – Be set apart again for a special use; Impart new or fresh life; Yield complete and wholehearted devotion; Recommit to where He has called you; Revive spiritually; Renew consecration to a life of ministry; Give of yourself entirely; Go all in again.
If you are saving your best for where God will call you next…why would He want to?