One of the ministries I have a long term relationship with, Life International, has one of the most unique but important guiding principles of any ministry I know: Intimacy before Impact!
Life International is a global "life" ministry dealing with issues of "life" wherever abortion exists around the world. It is a holistic ministry helping pastors train their congregations in abstinence outside of marriage, in healthy relationships between men and women and ministering to those with unwanted pregnancies.
But they know that their best strategies are worthless unless they have the power of the Holy Spirit ever present in their lives. They believe what Jesus said in John 15 about the importance of "abiding in me." So, built into their DNA and into their ministry lives and day is a culture of worship of God and paying close attention to their spiritual connection.
There is one phrase of Jesus in John 15 that always causes me pause: "Without me you can do nothing." All of us need to pay attention to those six words. We expend great energy in the cause of our ministries but in the end - without the empowerment of His Spirit and the connection of "remaining" we cannot accomplish anything of eternal value. But, "Ask anything of me and I will give it for it is to my father's glory that you bear much fruit."
A guiding principle to live by today and every day.