Do You Need CPR?

I need CPR. Perhaps you, your church, your ministry, or your business needs CPR too.

From my study of the Bible, experience in helping many 501(c)(3) organizations get started, reading many business and organizational books, enjoying Harvard Business Review for years, talking to leaders of both failed and successful businesses, and by being an avid fan of the TV series Shark Tank, I summarize below three principles of a successful life or venture:

CPR, that’s right, CPR! Success requires Clarity/People/Resources. An acronym that is easily remembered and can also quickly diagnose your organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

To accomplish your business plan, you need Clarity of vision and purpose, the right People, and adequate Resources. All three. If you have people and resources but no clear vision you will waste a lot of money and people’s time. If you have great clarity and the right people but not enough resources, you will falter and stumble. If you have resources and clear vision but no one to work with, it is a lonely struggle.

Repeat after me, “I need CPR!” Say it again a couple of times and quickly diagnose your church, ministry, business, or all three.


I remember John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Church movement, say in a conference that you need to “paint your bus.” He meant that people need to know beforehand what they are doing and where they are going.

I once told the staff at the church that I pastored, “We need to be pulling on the oars of our boat together.” To which a staff member replied, “Pastor, your vision is unclear. You want us to do this one day and then a few months later something else. I feel like all of us are pulling our oars but on one side of the boat and we are going in circles.”

No, I didn’t fire that staff member, and yes, we are still friends.


I heard a business leader teach, “Your success is dependent on what you celebrate. If you celebrate your success you fail; if you celebrate reaching your quarterly quotas you fail; if you celebrate those that you lead being fulfilled and happy, you succeed.”

Every success story in ministry has miraculous testimony of someone showing up with the right gifting at the right time. That’s God and how He works with gifts and calling in His body.

The first ministry that I started was a youth group in a recently purchased building. We decided upon the need to worship together on Friday nights. On that first Friday morning, someone knocked at the door and asked, “Can I help lead worship?”

Yes, I was so stupid at age 19 that I would plan a worship meeting with no worship leader – and yet God had my back.


Money, time, talent sum the resources needed for success. Clarity of vision along with great people attract resources. As one pastor told me, “The honey of success attracts workers.”

Have you ever noticed that successful churches have an abundance of great leaders, more and more worship team members – so many, that it is easy to get jealous of an Elevation Church or a Bethel or a North Point? Do not get mad and don’t criticize.

It is the honey principle.

Yes, your organization can have the same testimony. Resources do not materialize without clarity and the right people pulling together. Yes, they seemingly appear from thin air (or from God) when you have a great vision with enthusiastic workers.

Repeat after me, “I need CPR!”

All three are needed. CPR = Clarity, the right People, and adequate Resources. I have tried all combinations and failed at each: clarity without the right people, people with no resources, and people with resources but no vision. All disappointing.

When all three align in my ministry, I have peace. With a C or P or R missing, I pray. Walking by faith, learning to wait, and having patience, all work together for success when you understand that…

…you need CPR!

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