* Missing golden opportunities. Don’t overlook the mundane moments in life when opportunities to share the Gospel suddenly materialize. Seize opportunities that arise at the grocery store, PTA meeting, bank window, gas pump, ball field, or anywhere else God nudges you to witness to someone. Know that some opportunities, if they are missed, will be lost forever. Understand that God will give special opportunities to those who are committed and prepared, so make sure you know Scripture well. Recognize that some opportunities are much larger than they first appear, and that on opportunity is too small or insignificant. Understand that some opportunities bear immediate fruit for the kingdom. Remember that the goal of every opportunity should be to lead people to Christ, rather than to a church program. Ask God to give you the passion you need to seize the opportunities He brings your way.


* Settling for mediocrity. Don’t believe that the quality of your work doesn’t matter when you volunteer in ministry, because you’re not a professional. Realize that excellence matters, because: God loves excellence, the Bible commands it, and people respond to it. Ask God to give you the courage to make decisions for excellence. Decide to serve in your areas of giftedness. Invest the money necessary to provide excellent services, programs, equipment, etc. at your church. Thoroughly plan and prepare for events. Persevere and work hard, trusting that your best efforts are worthwhile.


* Allowing wolves to live among the sheep. Watch out for spiritual wolves (troublemakers) among the sheep (faithful people) in your congregation. Confront gossips, liars, caustic critics, legalists, and power-hungry manipulators. Realize that they can be deceptive, but will eventually reveal themselves by how they act. Don’t be afraid to call evil what it is – evil. Don’t allow people to destroy others in your congregation through their bad behavior. Confront them, all the while remembering that your goal isn’t to shame them, but to bring them back into a right relationship with God. Don’t be afraid to follow biblical principles for church discipline whenever you need to do so.


* Accepting the unacceptable. Ask God to help you be consistent in how you apply your faith to your life. Stop doing things halfheartedly and decide to act with your whole heart in every part of your life.

Adapted from The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, copyright 2006 by Mark Atteberry.  Published by Nelson Books, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com


Mark Atteberry has been preaching for 30 years and held ministries in Missouri and Indiana before becoming the minister of Poinciana Christian Church in Kissimmee, Florida, in 1989. He has spoken and led workshops at the Florida Christian Convention, as well as many camps, colleges, retreats, and revivals. Mark has been married for 29 years to his high school sweetheart, Marilyn. They have one daughter, Michelle.