An immediate opportunity is typically an unexpected need or possibility that your ministry could potentially address, while possibly conflicting with your long-term goal. Ideally they do not contradict each other, but sometimes may. As an example, imagine that your team is seeking to plant churches through the ministry of teaching at a school for local children and reaching their families. It comes to your attention that in your city, the problem of trafficking children for slave labor is growing rapidly. Should your team divert time and attention to help with this problem? Some questions for discerning whether or not to take on this opportunity might include:

  1. Is God using this new opportunity to widen the scope of, or change your ministry?
  2. For how long might your attention be diverted, and how would the current ministry suffer or benefit from temporary distraction?
  3. What do your leaders and sending church advise?
  4. Does your team have the skills and resources to take on this new responsibility and do it well?
  5. Is there any possible long-term connection between the opportunity and the long-range goal that would encourage you to address the immediate opportunity?

Prayerfully ask these and other strategic questions before proceeding.

"One of the most difficult things in ministry is learning how to say 'no' to good things in order to be able to say 'yes' to the best things." DMeade