How to Grow from your Failure

In case you missed it, Windows just announced it is discontinuing the Windows Phone. Oh! You didn’t know Windows had a phone? That’s ok, a lot of others didn’t either. That is part of the reason why they are discontinuing it.

failHonestly, I’ve always been fascinated by the Windows Phone. I would often say that if I wasn’t in too deep with Apple I would switch to Windows. But alas that just won’t be the case any longer as they discontinued making them.

But my fascination with the Windows Phones is not the reason behind this blog. This is much deeper. It’s to talk about failure. Just like the Windows Phone and the McLobster, the reality is sometimes you will fail. I know it stinks but guess what, who cares? The reason why we try things is to see if they will be effective in accomplishing our mission. We try things to make a bigger impact and do things more effectively. Sometimes something we try will be successful and sometimes it won’t.

When you fail, the KEY is to learn from the failure and to make adjustments for the next time you try something new.

3 Questions to ask yourself

Since failure is bound to happen, we want to make sure that we learn from our mistakes so we don’t make the same ones again and again. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when evaluating why something failed are:

  1. What could I have done differently?
  2. Who could I have enlisted to help me?
  3. Do I need a new skill or understanding to help me be more successful? If so, check out some of the resources below that can help you.

Also, as you evaluated and grow from this, another thing you can do when you fail is to ask others and get their input on what they saw as the reason(s) that you failed and were not as successful as you wanted to be.

Resources that can help

Even though whatever you tried didn’t work out quite as well as you had hoped, the great news is that you tried something new and different. As you try these new things for your life and ministry the great news is that there are some really great resources out there to help you. Here is a few specific ways you can improve your skills:

  • Join a Facebook Group. There are so many groups out there to be apart of, network with and get good feedback from. Some of my favorites are: Digital Bootcamp (for ministers looking to grow in digital learnings to help their ministry), Stuff You Can Use (a great Student Ministry Group), Lead from Second (a group designed specifically for Campus Pastors), Church Communications (a group for Church Communicators to learn and grow). These are just my favorites, but I am sure there are others you can join and get insights and learnings from.
  • Get curriculum to help you. I have been in ministry for 20 years and I love looking at curriculum and resources to help me. I enjoy taking their stuff and tweaking it to my style and make it my own. So, it is good to look at other ideas and tweak them. If you are like me, some of the ones I really enjoy using are: Grow Youth Ministry Strategy, reThink Group and Ministry Download.
  • Join a Pastor Group. Stan Rodda leads a group called Fuel Groups. This group focus on helping you build your ministry, encourage and connect you to a fraternity of pastors who are in this battle alongside you. He does this over a 6 week period of time and it is open any minister looking to connect and get some encouragement as you grow as a person and minister.


No matter how hard you try to be successful, the reality is sometimes you will fail at something. How you respond to it and improve based on that failure is the difference maker. Asking the right questions about it and finding the right resources to help you will go a long way to helping you be more successful in the long run.

What do you think? How do you respond when you fail? What do you do? Share your thoughts below or social media using #ymsidekick when you post. 

Sign up for the Sidekick Scoop Newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest Ministry trends and Content!


Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *