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5 Strategic Flaws That Cripple Ministry Impact

There are recognizable strategic flaws in the culture of churches that are stuck. Fresh eyes can almost always spot strategic flaws in an honest conversation, a website review, or an onsite visit. Sometimes it can be just one strategic flaw. Other times it is the whole set. Does your church struggle with any of these?

5 Strategic Flaws that Cripple Ministry Impact:

1. Celebrating menu options, variety and choices. For all the buzz around the idea of the simple church, there are still considerably more churches that actually celebrate menu options, variety and choices. Although somewhat counterintuitive, it turns out that a buffet with many choices actually makes it harder for people to recognize and take their next step. Churches that reason that more options leads to more participation actually have it wrong. Fewer options leads to more participation.  

2. Unwillingness to stop and ask for directions. What’s the farthest you’ve driven in the wrong direction? In the era of GPS positioning, I suppose it is becoming less common all the time to miss a turn and just keep driving. Unfortunately, it is the rare church that comes equipped with a GPS system. Worse yet, although it’s been a long time since anything looked familiar, they just keep driving in the same direction without every stopping to ask for directions.  

3. Insisting that the culture must adapt. This is a tragic flaw that affects many churches. Music selection, dress codes, and reaction to tattoos and piercing are really just the tip of the iceberg. Failure to anticipate low biblical literacy and the expectation that compliance to a moral code precedes acceptance are two very common strategic flaws in churches with low ministry impact.  

4. Endless pursuit of problem-free. The headlong pursuit of a problem-free strategy or solution delays more ministry than almost anything else. The truth is there is no problem-free. Wise leaders simply choose the set of problems they’d rather have and pull the trigger.  

5. Optimization of the status quo. What if it turned out that tweaking what you’re currently doing (optimizing) was keeping you from moving in the direction that would actually open new doors for ministry? What if what got you here won’t get you there? 

Can you see yourself? Have you already done a trouble shoot and eliminated these most common flaws? Or are you still stuck? What if 2014 was the year you found the courage to press ahead?

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mark@smallgroupresources.net'
Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and ChurchCentral.com.