Tag Archive - method

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Tearing Down Imaginary Fences

Have you ever thought to yourself or even said out loud, “we could never do that,” at our church? Maybe you don’t think your denomination would allow it, or your pastor wouldn’t allow it, or your church board wouldn’t allow it. Maybe you feel as though there are too many road blocks to change and you feel helpless or hopeless.

What I’ve found is that many church leaders are living within imaginary fences that they’ve constructed in their minds through either assuming the worst or building an entire reality in their minds based on one (or a couple) of bad experiences.

The truth is, you probably have more leeway to implement change at your church than you think. Here’s how…

Find the Yes

Stop looking for the no…find the yes. It’s easy to go negative and keep your eyes and mind on everything you can’t do. Anyone can to that, it takes no work, energy or leadership. Being solution oriented on the other hand is rare. I guess that’s why real leadership is rare too. You’ll find what you’re looking for.

Focus on Growth Not Change

Every change you make is a criticism of the past, and no one likes to be criticized. So, focusing on or even talk about change in an anti-change environment is a recipe for disaster. Instead focus on growth, helping people spiritually grow and join Jesus on His mission to help people know Him and follow Him. You cannot follow Jesus and stay where you are. This is true personally and organizationally. So focus on growth and change will happen.

Assume the Best and Clarify

What if instead of assuming the worst about your denomination, your pastor or your church board you assumed the best and then clarified? What if you changed all of that self-talk and chose to believe that these were all people who cared about people meeting Jesus and following Jesus?

Stop talking about what’s Wrong

Words create worlds. Language builds culture. You may have a negative culture on your church team because you’ve been speaking negatively about your denomination, pastor or church board. Take personal ownership for your attitude and your words, and how they’ve contributed to the problem. And…you actually may have some sin to confess in there somewhere.

Promote the Gospel not a Method

Stop worrying about a particular ministry program, method or approach you want to take and start focusing on the Gospel. Your ministry program or method isn’t going to change the world, Jesus will. And all of us know that methods come and go. That method you love today is going to be stale in the future and someone is going to feel the same way about it that you do about old methods you’re trying to change.

Want to learn more about changing your church? Here’s a couple of posts will help you:


Posted in Leadership

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Top Posts of 2014 #7: “4 Reasons Why Churches become Insider Focused”

Another late addition to the top 10 posts of 2014 comes in at number 7. I wrote this at the beginning of December but it quickly became one of the most shared and most popular posts of the year!

It’s rare that I ever come across a church that started off as an insider focused church. Most churches start with a desire to reach new people with the Gospel. In those early stages of a church plant they have to reach new people or they die due to a lack of viability. So how does a church that’s eager to help people outside of the faith follow Jesus drift towards becoming insider focused and spending all of it’s energy taking care of people who are already convinced? Here are the four most common reasons why churches become insider focused:

1. Stop Taking Risks

By its very nature everything about a church plant is risky. It’s a brand new start up. Everything is new and everywhere you turn there is a new risk to take. Somewhere along the way when some measure of viability is reached churches begin to mitigate risk by taking care of key stakeholders (insiders). It’s a lot easier (and less risky) to keep church people happy than it is to continue to reach out to people who are outside of the church. When is the last time your church risked something big for God? If you have outgrown your original risk taking ethos then your church is probably moving towards becoming insider focused.

2. Stay Married to Old Methods

If you don’t have a well of new ideas that you can go to and possibly implement at any given time then you’re probably spending a lot of energy propping up old methods and programs. And those old methods and programs bring a certain comfort with them, because they keep people who are already in the church happy. Every idea has a shelf life. If your church isn’t constantly evaluating and strategically stopping old things and starting new things then you’re probably moving towards becoming insider focused.

3. Planning overtakes Chaos

One of the most common misunderstandings of strategic planning is that the goal is not order; the goal is to accomplish the vision. In a growing church you want planning and management to lag slightly behind the chaos of change and movement. It’s possible to manage and plan your way into losing momentum. When planning and order become higher priorities than chaos and movement your church is teetering on becoming insider focused.

4. Lack of Vision

Clear vision is the greatest catalyst for movement and action in the church. When vision is fuzzy things slow down and naturally drift towards becoming insider focused. We all wake up every day thinking about ourselves, it’s what comes natural to us. That’s why both Jesus and the Apostle Paul paint a clear vision of spiritual maturity as living an others focused life. If your church is not sure where it’s going, chances are your moving towards becoming insider focused.

Interested in reading up some more on Insider Focused Churches? Check out the posts below:

Photo Credit: BrianTuchalskiPhotography via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

0

4 Reasons Why Churches become Insider Focused

It’s rare that I ever come across a church that started off as an insider focused church. Most churches start with a desire to reach new people with the Gospel. In those early stages of a church plant they have to reach new people or they die due to a lack of viability. So how does a church that’s eager to help people outside of the faith follow Jesus drift towards becoming insider focused and spending all of it’s energy taking care of people who are already convinced? Here are the four most common reasons why churches become insider focused:

1. Stop Taking Risks

By its very nature everything about a church plant is risky. It’s a brand new start up. Everything is new and everywhere you turn there is a new risk to take. Somewhere along the way when some measure of viability is reached churches begin to mitigate risk by taking care of key stakeholders (insiders). It’s a lot easier (and less risky) to keep church people happy than it is to continue to reach out to people who are outside of the church. When is the last time your church risked something big for God? If you have outgrown your original risk taking ethos then your church is probably moving towards becoming insider focused.

2. Stay Married to Old Methods

If you don’t have a well of new ideas that you can go to and possibly implement at any given time then you’re probably spending a lot of energy propping up old methods and programs. And those old methods and programs bring a certain comfort with them, because they keep people who are already in the church happy. Every idea has a shelf life. If your church isn’t constantly evaluating and strategically stopping old things and starting new things then you’re probably moving towards becoming insider focused.

3. Planning overtakes Chaos

One of the most common misunderstandings of strategic planning is that the goal is not order; the goal is to accomplish the vision. In a growing church you want planning and management to lag slightly behind the chaos of change and movement. It’s possible to manage and plan your way into losing momentum. When planning and order become higher priorities than chaos and movement your church is teetering on becoming insider focused.

4. Lack of Vision

Clear vision is the greatest catalyst for movement and action in the church. When vision is fuzzy things slow down and naturally drift towards becoming insider focused. We all wake up every day thinking about ourselves, it’s what comes natural to us. That’s why both Jesus and the Apostle Paul paint a clear vision of spiritual maturity as living an others focused life. If your church is not sure where it’s going, chances are your moving towards becoming insider focused.

Interested in reading up some more on Insider Focused Churches? Check out the posts below:

Photo Credit: BrianTuchalskiPhotography via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership