Be Prepared

Ministry preparation demands reading a boatload of religious books. After entering ministry, the trend of reading only religious books continues. But I’ve discovered some of my most helpful reading is done in the field of secular leadership and self-improvement.

If you are serving in ministry, regardless of your position, start reading beyond the narrow focus of Christian literature.

When I started reading secular books on literature, I discovered a valuable tool which continues to pay dividends: focus on one thing.

One of the problems of ministry is that of wearing many hats. Each hat represents a long to-do list. And in each area, there are people in the church who are experts in pointing out what needs to be done. No wonder people in ministry are prone to burn out!

The secret to getting more done is found in doing less. I know. It doesn’t make sense. But I’m discovering it’s true.

Think of dominoes.

On November 13, 2009 in The Netherlands, 4.5 million dominoes were lined up. You know the drill. Push the first one over and it knocks down the next and the next knocks down the next. In this example, pushing over the first domino generated the same amount of energy necessary to do 545 push ups. Remarkable.

It gets better. Think of this. What if the second domino in the chain was 50% larger than the first? Studies show the first one, although 50% smaller, will knock it down. What if you increased the third domino by 50% over the second? Same thing. Crash.

If you continue this progression of 50% increases 30 times, your final domino would loom 3,000 feet above Mt. Everest. Imagine the scene: 31 dominoes lined up with each one 50% larger than the previous. The last one towers above the world’s tallest mountain. Now, flick the tiny domino at the front of line. BANG! KAPOW! WOW!

Here’s a brief example of the principle in action:


According to Gary Keller, author of The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, finding the one thing will simplify your life and increase productivity. This bestselling book teaches you how to discover your one thing so you can achieve more with less energy.

Chain Reaction

Let’s get honest: we all waste time. Instead of binge-watching TV and playing on Facebook, what could you accomplish if you focused on the first domino and toppled it; setting off a huge chain reaction?

The trick is to recognize there are key areas in life. Find the one thing in each area, focus on that, and eliminate the superficial. Hang on. Your life is about to get better.

At the end of the book, the author invites you to visit a website where you can get a free personal workbook to discover your one thing in the key areas of life.

Yes, I’ve read the book and putting the principles into action. I see positive changes. My optimism is high. My one thing in each key area is coming into focus.

Go. Topple those key dominoes. Watch your life improve.


Visit Randall at

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