If your church closed its doors today, would anyone in town notice?
I recall a conversation I had years ago with a friend in the ministry. We had announced that we were launching a new campus for our multisite church in a new location. My friend said that his dream for our church was to see home values increase in that community simply because the value of our church was so widely recognized that our new campus would reflect in the financial value of those homes.
How is your church making a difference? How are you getting people out of their seats and into the streets? Prevailing churches are not just drawing people in to their big buildings, but they are also moving people out of those buildings and into the streets to serve the last, least and lost of their communities.
Who are the young leaders that you are irrationally trusting to lead parts of the ministry?
Chances are, if you’re reading this and you’re reflecting on your own leadership, that there were leaders with seniority who irrationally trusted you with a portion of the ministry early on in your development. In fact, you know that they had no business passing on what they did to you. However, because they did your leadership developed, and you were able to make a difference and grow as a leader. Now it’s your turn to find young leaders to hand whole portions of the ministry over to; this is how we pass the ministry on to the next generation. If you want to move up, you’re going to have to give up. There are things that you’re doing that you frankly need to pass on to other people.
What reasons do your people give their friends about why they should attend your church?
Understanding what is unique about your church can be a difficult thing. I often think that we have a certain amount of nose blindness when it comes to our own churches; we see our church in the way we want to see it, rather than how our community sees it. One way to find an honest perspective on what sets your group apart is to learn what your people say when they invite their friends to come to your church.
Whatever it is that people are talking about is what your church should double down on and invest in more. What your people tell their friends about is most likely a unique aspect of your ministry that God is using! Understanding this uniqueness is vitally important as we look to make a difference in our community.
What is it you do that only you can do?
You’re probably doing too much. In fact, there’s probably a large portion of your to-do list this week that you simply should not be working on. You need to delegate. Chances are there’s about 20 percent of what you do that returns 80 percent of your results. My friend Carey Nieuwhof encourages people to focus 80 percent of their time on that 20 percent thing that brings 80 percent of the results.
Stop trying to do everything. Pick your best piece and run with that. Hand everything else off, delegate or just let stuff fall off the plate. As you find what you’re called to do, improve at that, and exercise those gifts, you’d be amazed to what God will do in your church.
How can your church increase its evaluation culture?
Churches that make a difference don’t shy away from asking, “What are we doing well? And where do we need to grow?” Learning cultures within churches are at the very core of how God is driving those churches to be more effective.
It all starts by asking. Survey your team regularly and ask for feedback on what’s working and what isn’t. Encouraging every team member—whether they’re staff or volunteer—not to shy away from giving, receiving or seeking feedback will develop the kind of culture that will help your church take steps forward. Our churches are simply not going to be more effective if we’re not able or willing to look at what we’re doing squarely in the face. Understand it and evaluate what’s working and what’s not.
Another part of an evaluation culture includes seeing metrics for what they are. Rather than just investigating how we feel about things we need to ask, “What numbers are telling us what is working effectively?”