ChurchLeaders recently spoke with Bobby Gruenewald, the Innovation Leader at LifeChurch.tv and the creator of YouVersion. We asked him to share the most powerful leadership lesson he’s learned over the last couple of years. Here’s what he had to say.
It’s tied to the leadership style that I have, and I think it’s something church leaders oftentimes overlook or discount or don’t use.
To give you an example…we really don’t make five-year plans in what we do.
Our approach is very simple: we try something, we take a risk, we evaluate very carefully the things that we do.
We always make sure that when we’re doing ministry, we have the ability to measure the result in some form or fashion. And we try to make evaluation very quick, very rapid.
We have a very short feedback loop to it, and if we can see momentum, if we can see God moving in it and using it, we just put gas on it and accelerate, and we try to do that quickly.
The inverse of that is that if we see things that we’re investing resource or time in and it’s just not connecting, we’re not seeing life change that comes from it, we’ll stop doing it and not even look back and not think twice.
And I think the challenge as a church leader sometimes is, in some cases, having the ability to make those changes quickly, but a lot of times, it’s more of a hesitancy that comes. I think churches and church leaders tend to collect ministries, whether we want to or not. We start something, and it’s a good thing, and people benefit from it, but the problem is it’s not a great thing. So we sacrifice the great things to be able to maintain all the good things, and I’m being kind of generous there because sometimes they’re not good things. Sometimes, they are.
I think this lesson for YouVersion is the reason I really believe God’s used it in a big way, and I’m sure He could have done it without us. He could have used anybody, for that matter, but I think it’s because we really recognized when He was at work and doing something, and we moved to quickly to respond.
I think there are a lot of ministries out there that could reach a lot more people if they would just be attuned to that and really try to understand it. Sometimes, we fail to even know what’s working, which is the first problem, and the second part of it is even when we do know what’s working, sometimes we fail to respond quickly and do more of it.