This is the time of year right between new years and after Christmas where people around the world and even in churches sit down for a week and do some goal planning for the next year. It’s very important to set these goals or “Wins” as I like to call it. for any ministry, church or even in your own life. One topic I have talked about many of times with church and ministry leaders is the goals and wins of a church and even the down falls of it as a whole. One question I am asked a lot is why churches are stuck and what keeps them from getting them to where God wants them to be. Here is a little jot of about 8 reason churches are stuck where they are.
1. You lack a leadership empowerment plan. We have failed as leaders in the church if we do not embrace the unique gift-mix that God designed. And we won’t fully know the power and impact of the local church until people are empowered to be the people God wired them up to be.
2.You are unclear about your vision and mission. There are lots of churches with vision statements, but I don’t think there are very many churches that really have a vision statement that clarifies who they are as an organization. A clear vision that is properly communicated will both rally and repel people.
3.You blame outsiders and external factors. Victim-thinking will only lead to bitterness and competition. Leaders who blame outsiders and external factors actually are confessing their own failure to think creatively and inspire their team.
4.Your structure inhibits growth. One of the attributes of a church in decline is a complex structure. The natural tendency of organizations is to add complexity to their structure and systems. The longer an organization exists, the more complex it typically gets.
5. You worship your past success. Our past successes can be one of the greatest contributing factors to our future demise. When organizations stick to “the way we do it,” the safe approach of avoiding innovation and change becomes the riskiest approach.
6. You focus on activities instead of outcomes. While many church leaders are full of vision and passion, they lack an effective strategy to accomplish their mission. That leads to a feeling of disorganization, and ultimately they become stuck.
7. You fail to equip God’s people. For whatever reason, smaller churches I work with have a tendency to rely on the pastors and paid staff to carry the ministry load rather than equipping lay people.
8. Your ministries ignore people outside the church. When churches become inward-focused and start making decisions about ministry to keep people rather than reach people, they also start to die.
I think all these points are very important however I have to say churches start to walk on thin ice when they hit point 8…. in my years of ministry I have seen this so much over and over again. Churches make decisions to keep people rather than reach people…. At times when I walk into a church I have to stop and ask myself are they all about entertainment of Christianity and what keeps people laughing and all smiles or are they about more. It brakes my heart to see churches lost so far in the world they honestly believe it’s how Christ would do ministry. I guess if I had to add another reason chuches are stuck it would be 9. They lose their passion. May this be a great time of year to plan, pray. and dream where God can take you this next year!
In His Grip,