Jim Baker is an outstanding thinker about church leadership and management issues, and in a recent post at his blog, he observed: “Each year we are faced with more opportunity than we have time or resources; without a clear vetting process, we can easily settle for less than the best.
“Church members come to us with their passions they want funded. Denominational agencies present programs for us to adopt. Church staffers return from the latest conference with new ministry ideas they want to implement.
“With a constant flow of compelling ideas, requests and opportunities for kingdom impact confronting church leaders today, how then can we distinguish the good from the best? Try running your next ministry idea or opportunity through these 10 filters before committing to a course of action.
• God’s will—evidenced by broad-based staff and lay prayerful discernment, agreement, support, affirmation
• Alignment—degree to which it supports church objectives and goals (scale of 1-10)
• Potential Impact—degree of impact on church mission and vision (high/medium/low)
• Probability of Success—likelihood of the initiative being received well and implemented (successfully and timely: high/medium/low)
• Cost/Benefit—value; affordability; demand on the church’s financial, physical and human resources (high/medium/low)
• Risk/Reward—degree of risk versus potential reward (high risk/low reward; high risk/high reward; low risk/high reward; low risk/low reward)
• Core Competency—Do we have the current staff and/or lay competency to implement this initiative successfully? Are there lay advocates willing to lead this initiative?
• Trade Offs—If we do this, what will we not be able to do or have to stop doing?
• Precedent—Do we have a history or track record with this initiative that suggests we should continue to expand and maximize it?
• Problem Avoidance—What potential problems could occur if this initiative is implemented?”