They wanted to reach people for Jesus, but they were stuck. The numbers couldn’t lie. They had been running 200-300 people for the last 10 years, but decline was settling in. Something felt off. The changes they had tried to implement–like creating a “blended” traditional/contemporary worship service–only left them more frustrated when growth did not come. They needed a fresh perspective.
In 2012 I met with Joe Stewart. Joe was the new Lead Pastor at Sabino Road Baptist Church and he was hopeful about their future. He refused to let this ministry stagnate into irrelevance. In my time with Sabino Road I walked them through a Health Assessment to lend new eyes to its strategies, systems and structure and provide a current snapshot of the ministry’s health.
“It was an incredible asset to have someone from the outside say what he saw and provide me with an ally for change,” said Pastor Joe. “The Unstuck Group has a unique way of facilitating discussion and helping staff and key leaders gain understanding of how to move forward.”
Sabino Road did not have a culture of change, which made the process move slowly. Some things were difficult, like transitioning to a new worship pastor and building a new website, but the mindset shift that occurred began to gain ground. The church realized its culture had unintentionally become insider-focused and was able to clarify its mission, vision and values to be about reaching out.
The “transition team” that Pastor Joe rallied set a goal of seeing 100 new guests visit the church between May 2013 and May 2014. As of today, they’ve already exceeded that goal, and they’ve retained 37% of the new folks.
The church has seen more growth in the last two years than it had in the previous 10.
“Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs 24:3-5 (NKJV)
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