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How to Help Your Church Take Baby Steps

You want your church to move. You want them to stop standing still and move somewhere … forward, upward, sideward. Anywhere.

But how do you get them to take that first step?

In their book, Missional Moves, Rob Wegner and Jack MaGruder, pastors at Granger Community Church, created what they call the Spectrum of Involvement, with four main elements: 

  1. Access:  Simple and easily accessible opportunities to serve that require a low level of commitment. 
  2. Project:  Short-term opportunities with a moderate commitment level. 
  3. Ongoing Teams:  A collection of members that stand as the backbone of the spectrum, offering regular service and a high level of commitment. 
  4. Leadership:  A selected group that leads and equips other to serve in all areas of the spectrum. 

But the duo realized that simply creating these spectrum levels didn’t cause their church members to jump forward in making bold missional moves for God. People needed small, attainable stages to feel comfortable in progressing. 

Baby steps, if you will.

So, Rob and Jack expanded on the core elements of their spectrum, making sure the service opportunities that existed at each level could be easily identified by adults, families, students and children. They reconnected the focus of their children’s ministry with the passion of their family ministries and the emphasis of their student ministries. All levels worked in sync, for and not against each other.

And so, when Granger Community Church focused on serving the needs of a small village in India, they created opportunities for each level to get involved. For example, the children got to see posters of children in the village and hear stories about each child in the picture. They also received a list of school supplies that the kids needed in the village. After the supplies were collected, the outreach teams who distributed them to the villages returned to share new stories with the children at Granger Community.

Older students also learned to embrace the culture by attending day trips to “Little India” in a small Chicago neighborhood.  The students prayed alongside Christ followers in the Indian community, ate Indian food and visited a Hindu temple.

And as a result, kids, students and adults all discovered what, where, why and how they could take steps toward missional living. Their church worked together, taking baby steps toward a shared mission.

This post is a summary of Chapter 10 from Missional Moves, a book describing ways to unleash missional energy within your church to transform communities and the world. Authors of this book, Rob Wegner and Jack MaGruder, will be speaking at the next Aspen Group Pastors Lunch.