7 Practices of Effective Ministry Book Study, Part 5

by Carmen Kamrath

Relevance. Growth. Longevity. Discovery. These are key components to the last four steps for effective ministry.

TMI

TMI—texting lingo for “Too Much Information.” Practice #4 challenges leaders to Teach Less for More—not always an easy task for church leaders. When teaching young baseball players about the game, coaches strive to teach them the necessities to play well and win the game. They don’t expect them to memorize the baseball stats of every major league player or the chronological history of the game. Now this type of info can be beneficial and interesting, but it’s not relevant to winning tomorrow’s game. In the same way, we need to focus what we teach with the end in mind—what do we want people to know. We need to provide information that’s relevant and deliver the message in a way that’s easy to understand.

The Outsiders

Practice #5 stretches leaders to listen to people outside of their circle of influence—focus on the people you’re trying to reach, not on the ones you’re trying to keep. But your regular attenders are saturated in the community every day with outsiders and they have a direct line into what they say—their concerns, hurts, frustrations, needs—so encourage them to be your eyes and ears as well.

No Finish Line

I’ve witnessed dynamic churches and organizations that have withered up and died when their commander in chief left for another position or ministry. Practice #6, Replace Yourself, is in place to prevent this tragedy from happening to your ministry. Don’t let the seeds you’ve planted become stunted or die because you’re not at the helm. Build a team that can carry the mission and vision; that will support you in the growth of your ministry.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Major League baseball players didn’t make it to where they are by accident—they worked hard to reach that level—investing time and energy in good coaches, training, and practice. Practice #7 reminds leaders to Work On It; evaluating what works and doesn’t work, then committing to improvement and growth. Celebrate the “wins” and have courage to release programs that aren’t helping you reach that “win.”

The Orange Connection

Leveraging influence—it’s an important element in the Orange philosophy. When we create consistent opportunities for children and students to experience personal ministry, they will engage in spiritual growth and formation. It helps a future generation carry on the mission and vision of your ministry.

Think on This

How often does your team discuss your overall strategy? Who are you personally investing in to do your job when you’re gone? How can you better listen to “outsiders”?

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Orange Leaders
The Orange Group is a gathering of leaders who are passionate about engaging churches and families to influence the faith and character of the next generation. Contributors include some of the most widely respected thought-leaders in children’s ministry, including Reggie Joiner, Sue Miller, Kendra Fleming, Jim Wideman, and Bre Hallberg. New blog entries, podcasts, webcasts, and video downloads are available every week to help you keep leading yourself and growing with your team.