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Growing Healthy Churches

Healthy Churches, Led by Healthy Leaders, Changing the World

Dr. Tim Brown | Executive Minister

I’ve heard it said that it can be a leader’s or a team’s best friend. I’ve also heard it said that it can make or break a leader, team or an organization. I’m talking about momentum. Without positive momentum it seems impossible for churches, leaders, teams or organization to move forward. An atmosphere of stagnation will exist, and atrophy will set in.  But with momentum things seem to be much easier and a lot more enjoyable. Problems are solved with relative ease and an upbeat vibe permeates the culture. I write this just days before the Super Bowl, and I’m quite confident that sports analysts and commentators will talk about momentum and how shifts of momentum can determine the outcome of the game.

So often, I have talked with really good church leaders who are frustrated because they cannot seem to pick up momentum. Momentum requires movement and movement requires change. So, we can’t expect to create momentum by doing what we have always done if what we have always done is not working.

Sometimes, just as in sports, momentum shifts for a team or organization with one big play.  But more often than not, momentum shifts because of a series of smaller victories. A football team has a 10-play drive that results in a score. A basketball team gets several turnovers with several baskets. A baseball team gets two or three hits in a row. And then we hear sports commentators say, “You can feel the momentum is shifting.”

As churches, we have two “big plays” already built into our calendar year (Christmas and Easter). I think most churches should at least purposefully build two more into their calendars. However, if those “big plays” are not followed by a series of smaller victories the momentum can be lost. Momentum is typically created by enthusiastic leaders who understand that compiling small wins gets the snow ball of momentum rolling.

The following are just a few ideas that have helped many churches I have known experience small wins.

  • Cleaning and refurbishing a local park
  • Vacation Bible School or children’s event
  • Supporting a local or international service/mission project
  • Partnering with a local school to provide a nice lunch for teachers
  • Renovating or redecorating part of the church facility or campus
  • Starting a recovery ministry
  • Changing the churches name or constitution and by-laws
  • Participating in a community event
  • Hosting parenting or marriage seminars or events
  • Taking leadership teams to training events, seminars or retreats
  • Participating in a church health asessment

The list could go on and on, but these represent mostly small things that when completed, and celebrated, begin to add up. So, in building momentum, I always think “let’s try to get as many small wins as possible, celebrate them and intentionally do those things as close to or after our big events (big plays).” My encouragement to leaders, teams and organizations is to never undervalue the small wins. And wins need to be celebrated because celebrated wins begin to build momentum.

Rev. Gilbert Foster  |  Director of Recruitment

When I was a Senior Pastor I kept a sticky note in the middle of my rather cluttered desk. This note sat just next to my keyboard and was usually a vivid pink color – my other desk notes were the plain old yellow ones reminding me to do the many ‘ordinary’ things Senior Pastors have to do.
But this one had to stand out.

This sticky note listed the explicit things that I, as the Senior Pastor, and I alone needed to bring to the church’s life and health. It was normally a list of three or four things. Normally things that I needed to action and lead in this current ministry season.

This pink list couldn’t be passed to the Board or to other staff members.
This pink list couldn’t be postponed until a quieter ministry season.
This pink list wasn’t the ‘rent payment’.
This pink list was what an effective leader would bring to help keep the church moving forwards to health and greater missional impact.

There are things that only the senior leader can and must do for the health and effectiveness of the organization.
Sometimes it’s a strategic move we’ve come to see as we view the church’s health and direction from a 10,000ft view.
Sometimes it’s a vital missional emphasis that we need to lead in.
Sometimes it’s a key leadership shout on a personnel or recruiting appointment.
Other times it’s heat that needs brought to a core ministry or focus.
Often times it’s a momentum booster to ensure the church delivers on its mission and vision.

So – what would you put on that pink list?
What 3 or 4 things does the church need you to really deliver on between now and June 2018?

Before you get too specific senior leaders wisely lead at the mission, vision and strategic levels first. It’s wise to view your ‘pink list’ through these lenses before getting too tactical or operational in your thinking.

As you consider your local church ask these questions:

  1. What must I do to ensure our mission is being better accomplished in the next 3-6 months?
  2. What areas of our vision require my attention and hands on leadership in this next ministry season?
  3. In moving our church from here to there – what must I do to help see movement happen?

If you linger in these strategic types of questions – the next practical/tactical questions that could be written down on your pink list might look like this:

a) Introduce a new growth initiative that could become a new growth engine over the next several years to see us accomplish our mission and vision.
b) What key volunteer do I need to spend time with to help empower, train or equip better to lead what needs leading?
c) How best can I work with our Children’s Pastor/Leader to see this front door better aligned to our vision and mission?
d) What training course/teaching do I need to explore and prepare to implement to help our congregation fulfill our mission?
e) What topic/aspect of our vision do I need to add some heat to on a Sunday morning in front of the congregation?
f) Who are the influencers that I need to invest some time with over the next few months to help move the church forwards?
g) What rooms need repainting; what part of the church campus needs improving to help us reach more people?
Take your pick.

Bottom line:
A vision needs leading and the Pastor is the prime leader.
It won’t happen without the Pastor doing what only the Pastor can do to see it accomplished.
What’s on your pink list that needs done before Christmas hits?

 


OUR TERMS OF SERVICE & PRIVACY POLICY

Written by Gilbert Foster @WIGUGlobal

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