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5 Indicators Your Church Is Turning the Corner

turning the corner

So, you want to see your church change positively. But how can you measure it? What are some indicators your church is turning the corner?

When you want to see the church you lead transition and change, you must approach the prospect of change intentionally.

You must have clarity around mission, vision, and the culture you want to create.

So, as you take each step toward change in the church you lead, what are some indicators that your church is turning the corner? What should you be looking for?

Let’s talk about it.

5 Indicators Your Church is Turning the Corner

1. People begin taking action on what you’ve talked about–on their own.

The prerequisite for this is that you are drilling some core things into your preaching, your conversations with congregants, and with leaders.

But when you are doing this, a key indicator that your church is turning the corner is when you see people begin to take action on what you’ve continued to talk about–on their own. That last part is important. You don’t want people guilted into something, but you want them to be taking action because they are catching the vision.

When you see the change that needs to take place, preach on it, talk about it, and show your congregation what could be if they stepped into it. And then, when people begin taking action, celebrate! Your church is turning the corner.

2. The staff and key leaders notice a shift in “temperature.”

What I mean here is that hard-to-put-into-words feeling you experience when you are a part of any group. It’s the…

  • vibe
  • feel
  • temperature
  • mood
  • energy
  • sense
  • anticipation

… of the church.

You’ll hear things like, “there’s just something different.” And they mean it in a good way.

So as you are leading your church through change, talk to your staff and key leaders about how they sense the temperature is in the church. Are they sensing a positive change?

They may not be able to fully explain their reasoning for the sense that something has changed, but that’s okay. Culture is a hard thing to fully put your finger on. But when you’re in the middle of a culture shift, you feel it.

So when your staff and key leaders begin noticing a change in the feel of the church (in a way that is getting closer to the culture you want to create), celebrate! Your church is turning the corner.

3. People begin inviting their friends.

Want a good gauge on whether or not people are (1) growing in their adoration and love for Jesus, and (2) excited about Jesus’ bride’s direction?

The gauge is people inviting their friends to gather with God’s people.

This means that they are truly owning their faith.

It means that they are on board with the direction of the church.

It means that they are stepping outside of their comfort zone.

When you see people begin to invite their friends to gather with them on Sundays, celebrate! Because your church is turning the corner.

turni4. First-time guests return.

One of the most important areas many churches must improve in is guest services/first impressions or whatever you call the ministry that is focused on taking hospitality to the next level.

The reality is when people begin inviting their friends to gather with them on a Sunday, those first-time guests will decide in the first 10 minutes of their visit whether or not they will come back again.

So when you start to see a first-time guest become a second-time guest, a third-time guest and eventually become a member, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!

Why?

Because that’s a massively big deal.

Someone who is new to the church you lead will notice all the things that you all do well and all the things you don’t do well.

Most of all, they’ll feel something throughout their visit that, again, is hard to fully put into words. That is, it’s hard to put into words beyond this word: culture.

When this happens over and over and over again, the church will continue to positively turn the corner and become a healthy, growing church. More people will come to know Jesus, lives will be transformed by the Holy Spirit, and your community will begin to be transformed by God’s church being God’s church.

5. When your leaders get it.

What do I mean? I mean clarity in three specific areas:

  1. When the leaders in your church have clarity on the past. Specifically, when your leaders get it, they won’t be wishing the church was more like it used to be. They will resist looking at the past romantically and, instead, they will look at it realistically.
  2. When the leaders in your church have clarity on the present. Specifically, when your leaders get it, they understand how today is moving the church forward in the mission, vision, and culture.
  3. When the leaders in your church have clarity on the future. Specifically, when your leaders get it, they understand–and are on board with–the overall direction of the church as it moves into the next 5 years and beyond.

How will you know that they get it in these 3 areas? Listen. Observe.

What you should be hearing and seeing is that they are owning the mission, vision, and culture in their own leadership. You’ll witness them helping the people they lead with working past the past and into the present and future. You’ll see them casting vision and connecting the mission and vision to today’s actions.

When you see that happen, celebrate! Your church is turning the corner.

What would you add?

What are some additional indicators that your church is turning the corner in a positive way?

This article originally appeared here.

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Brandon Kelley is the co-founder of Rookie Preacher and the author of Preaching Sticky Sermons and Crucified to Life. He serves as the Lead Pastor of First Church of Christ in Bluffton, IN. He also writes at BrandonKelley.org. You can follow him @BrandonKelley_. Watch his sermons here.