As we’re heading into Christmas and the New Year, it’s the perfect time to capitalize and build momentum into 2016.
It’s a fresh start.
Good or bad, last year is behind you and new possibilities and opportunities are waiting.
If you’re happy with the results you’re getting in ministry, this will help you stay focused.
If you’re stuck, this will help you move out of the rut.
1. DEFINE WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH THAT’S UNIQUE TO YOU.
I know this is basic, but many times it is helpful to go back to the beginning and start there.
Answer this question: What can we do better than 10,000 other churches?
You can look at the makeup and gifting of your staff and volunteers, as well as the makeup of the families in your church and the community you’re trying to reach.
As an example, our church has a staff that is family oriented and passionate about families.
In our church and community, most families have 2 working parents who feel too busy and overwhelmed by the idea of discipling their kids.
So what we believe we’ve been uniquely designed and called to accomplish is: Give resources and help to families to empower them to grow together.
2. BE HONEST ABOUT WHAT ISN’T WORKING.
When you face the reality of what isn’t working, it gives you power to create change.
The 2 biggest obstacles to admitting what isn’t working and moving toward change are
1) A program used work really well, and even though it doesn’t anymore, people still think the golden days will return.
2) You designed and launched a program, and even though it’s stopped working, it’s hard to let go of something you put so much of yourself into.
To overcome the first obstacle, you need to be honest with those “golden age” people; let them know how great of a difference it’s made in the past, and then gently tell them why it’s not working anymore. Then explain a new and better solution.
To overcome the second obstacle, keep in mind that every idea has an expiration date; it’s not a failure on your part that it stopped working; it’s just that the times have changed. Then recognize that you can come up with a new better idea and go for it.
3. MAKE ONE THING BETTER EVERY SINGLE WEEK.
As long as you’re always getting better, it will be almost impossible to become irrelevant.
It’s a tough challenge in the midst of everything else you have to accomplish every week (Sundays come with a surprising consistency) to make at least 52 improvements a year, but it’s also vital.
It’s in doing the small things excellently that you’ll make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Leave no stone unturned: start with how you can make interactions and resources for parents better (ultimately parents decide if the family comes to church and if long term discipleship happens), then move onto how you can make each aspect of the kid’s service better (If kids love coming to church, it makes the parents more likely to keep coming).
In making things better, nothing should be off limits (but be careful that nothing ever becomes personal; focus on the whats not the whos).
Today, churches have to compete with youth sports, hyper-busyness, and even families wanting to sleep in, which means we have to create an environment where families perceive that church is more important than those things.
I wish it wasn’t the way it is, and honestly I don’t even understand it, but the days of relying on “Sundays are for church” are sadly over.
There’s more competition for Sundays than there’s ever been, and we have to step up.
What are you doing to start the new year off right? Leave a comment.