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.