Tag Archive - momentum


Stop Starting New Stuff at your Church

Some churches and church leaders I’ve met are addicted to new. I get it, I like new stuff too. In fact, I can get bored quick when it comes to maintenance and routine. Like a lot of church leaders, I need fresh new challenges routinely.

New can be fun, it can be catalytic to momentum and it can attract and involve new people. New can be great! But pacing with new stuff matters…like, a lot.

Starting a new multisite campus, launching a new worship service time, beginning a new ministry approach, or hiring a new staff member may be the next right thing for your church, but then again it may be the worst thing you could do.

Don’t Reach to Grow…Reach because you’re Growing

Overreaching and overextending yourself past your capacity to keep up with your reach will lead to decline and death not growth and life. When beginning something new be sure to be sober minded about overreaching past your financial, staff, volunteer, facility or a number of other limiting factors.

The Best Reason to do something New is because you Have To

If you don’t’ get anything else from this post…make sure you write that thought down and give it some serious thought. The best reason to start a new worship service is because you are growing, and you need to create more space. The best reason to hire more staff is because you have to in order to keep up with growth. The best reason to start a new multisite campus is to respond to demand and reach that community.

Everything you Start you have to Sustain

While starting new stuff may be fun, keeping that new stuff going can be a drag. Remember everything new that you start you need to keep in motion. It’s going to take time, money, volunteers, and other resources that will have to be diverted from other things you already have going on.

Starting New Stuff won’t cover up a Fatal Flaw for long

Churches are notorious for starting a myriad of new things when the momentum of the church begins to wane. It’s a desperate attempt to prop things up and keep things moving in the right direction and growing. While that may mask a loss of momentum for a little while it won’t address the fatal flaws of why things are slowing down. In fact it will make things worse because it will cause you to overextend yourself instead of deal with root issues.

Posted in Leadership


3 Shifts that Growing Multisite Churches Experience

The decision to adopt a multisite strategy to deliver growth may be a decision that your church is considering. While still young as a movement, multisite is proving to be an incredibly effective strategy for growing churches to deliver growth to new “markets” and reach new people with the Gospel.

However, going multisite will make things more complicated and more difficult for you as a leader and for your church.

If your church is considering going multisite, or has gone multisite but is now experiencing multi-stuck I’d encourage you to check out the Unstuck Group. We’ve developed a unique process to help churches prepare to go multisite as well as get multi-stuck churches unstuck.

Below are 3 shifts that we observe growing multisite churches commonly experience.

1. Staff Roles & Responsibility

When you’re just in one location the Staff Team only has responsibility for the one location. As you begin to add campuses it’s common for Staff to have “dual responsibilities.” For instance, someone may be the Kids Director on the original campus but influence Kids Ministry on all campuses. This is particularly true as you move from 1 campus 2-3 campuses. By the time you’re at 4+ campuses it’s more common that staff have a singular focus. They either serve at a particular campus and focus their attention on that campus or serve on the “central team” and serve all campuses.

2. Attenders

Campus attendance has the ability to shift the emotion of the Staff Team at the original campus significantly. Obviously when there is one location all of the attendance is at that one site. Even when you start your first campus or two it’s not uncommon that the majority of the attendance is still on the original location. However, as campuses are added it’s not uncommon that the majority of people who attend the church, attend at a different campus than the original site. This is a tipping point in your multisite journey where the Staff Team at the original site begin to see themselves as just another campus instead of the big boys on the block and ministry trend setters for the church.

3. Staff Restructures

While going multisite may be a mechanism to help your church reach more and new people with the Gospel it certainly makes things more complicated. There are multiple restructures that happen along the way as more campuses are added. Here are some general trends:

  • 2-3 Campuses: Campus Pastors are hired and usually report to someone already on the team, Staff often play dual roles leading on a particular campus and influencing the entire church at the same time
  • 4-5 Campuses: A Multisite Director is hired to lead the new Campus Pastor Team and the Multisite expansion strategy at the church, a Campus Pastor is hired at the original location and that site is treated as another campus instead of the “mother ship,” a true Central Service Team responsible for serving the campuses is beginning to be built.
  • 6+ Campuses: Regionalization brings a whole new set of issues

Posted in Leadership


10 Articles that will Help Your Church Make Vision Real

Thank you for making January a great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying connected with you through social media and hearing that these articles have been helpful. So, thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

5 Reasons People Don’t Sing at your Church

We all want people engaging in worship, but what is really in our control and how can we help people connect through the music? Here is a list of factors that contribute to how people respond and engage during worship in our churches.

A Large Multisite Church in Phoenix is Hiring Worship Leaders/Pastors!

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search. Sun Valley Community Church, the church I have the honor of serving at, is beginning a national search for two new full-time Worship Leaders/Pastors.

How Many People should your Church have on Staff?

Before you buy into the idea that you need another staff person at your church, think again. That just may be the worst decision you make at your church this year.

4 Steps to Building an Intentional Culture in your Church in 2016

Building an intentional “culture” at your church is something a lot of people are talking these days but few people are actually doing. Truth is every church already has a culture, but most of them are built on accident.

When to Add Another Worship Service at your Church

Thinking about adding another worship service at your church? Here are five strategic concepts to consider before you do.

8 Reasons Why People Don’t Volunteer at your Church

I’ve never worked with a church that has said they don’t need more volunteers. But I’ve worked with a bunch of churches that have trouble getting people to volunteer and stay engaged volunteering.

5 Reasons Why the Church is an Anti-Leadership Organization

There are all kinds of threats and challenges facing the church these days. But underlying them all is one common denominator. The greatest crisis facing the modern day church is a crisis of leadership. Churches don’t naturally attract, develop, or keep leaders. But why?

How to Gain and Sustain Momentum at your Church

There is one resource that every organization needs and smart leaders seek out. It is a resource that cannot be purchased, borrowed or copied from someone else. Churches and organizations that have it, experience far greater wins than those that do not. Teams that have it perform at their best, without it they almost always flounder. It is a key determining factor in whether a church or ministry thrives or dies. It’s a single word. Momentum.

Stop Paying People to do Ministry

Paying people to “do” ministry instead of “lead” ministry is an expensive mistake that many churches fall into. Here are 3 principles that will help you focus the Staffing & Volunteer philosophy at your church.

6 Children’s Ministry Trends

Hear 6 Children’s Ministry trends directly from two very successful Children’s Ministry Leaders.

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership


How to Gain and Sustain Momentum at your Church

There is one resource that every organization needs and smart leaders seek out. It is a resource that cannot be purchased, borrowed or copied from someone else. Churches and organizations that have it, experience far greater wins than those that do not. Teams that have it perform at their best, without it they almost always flounder. It is a key determining factor in whether a church or ministry thrives or dies. It’s a single word. Momentum. Momentum is the force of your organization’s forward movement toward fulfilling its mission. Take a few seconds and rate your current organizational momentum in the ministry or church you lead?

Momentum Scale

  1. Stuck—No momentum
  2. Losing Speed
  3. Maintaining
  4. Gaining Speed
  5. Advancing (Unstoppable)

If you are 3 or below, your church or ministry needs a boost of momentum. If you ranked yourself a 4 or 5, momentum is present but you need to be sure you know how to sustain momentum. Creating and sustaining momentum requires understanding what gets people moving. Take a look at this definition.

Momentum is sustained motivation over time. There is a very real relationship between organizational momentum and personal motivation. As personal motivation goes up and to the right so does momentum. As motivation diminishes in your team, among your attenders or even within yourself, momentum loss is inevitable. It’s motivation that gets you moving. Now rate the motivation level of your team. Where do they fall on the scale below? Rate yourself? People will rarely be more motivated than their leader. How do you rank?

Motivation Scale

  1. Discouraged
  2. Losing motivation
  3. Maintaining
  4. Gaining Motivation
  5. Driven

How do your momentum and motivation scales compare? If your team is like most teams, high momentum scores go hand in hand with high motivation scores. The reverse is true as well.

So, what does it take to be motivated or to motivate someone else? There are two necessary ingredients: clarity and energy. Here is another way to say it. Motivation requires clarity of vision and energy to make it reality.


Clear motives create real motivation. If there is confusion among your team they will be less motivated to get moving. When the vision is fuzzy few people follow. If momentum seems low, ask yourself these questions.

  • Have I been crystal clear about my expectations?
  • Have I given those I am leading really clear short term and long-term goals?
  • Are my values clear enough to define the behaviors of my team?
  • Can my team imagine and articulate your organizations preferred future?
  • Have I clearly defined our strategy and trained the best practices for ministry?


The other necessary ingredient of motivation is energy. You may see clearly where you want to go, but without energy you will never get there. Ask yourself what fuels your team members and what drains your team members. Become an expert in what energizes them. Here is a quick list of energy boosters.

  • Trust: People are energized when they follow a leader who is trustworthy, consistent, caring and competent.
  • Fun: Laughter lifts the spirit. Game nights, outings and fun surprises fill the tank.
  • Rest: How much time is your team getting to refresh? Challenge them to get real rest not just vegging out in front of the television. Model it.
  • Exercise: There is a clear link between physical exertion and motivation. The more motivated they are to be physically healthy the more likely they are to be motivated in other areas of life.
  • Relationships: Meaningful relationships in our life fill the tank. Create ways to build relationships among the staff or volunteers.
  • Faith: Provide opportunities for your team to grow spiritually. Coach them on how to cultivate a personal devotional life with Jesus. Again, model it.

Ask yourself this question? What can I do this month to focus and fuel my team? How do I give clarity and energy to my ministry leaders? The best way to start is to simply ask these two questions. What is currently unclear or confusing? What gives you energy?

Motivation is not created overnight, but with intentionality it will grow and so will the momentum of your organization or team.

This is a guest post by Brian LaMew who serves as the Campus Pastor at the Tempe Campus of Sun Valley Community Church. You can keep up with Brian on Twitter or Facebook.

Posted in Leadership


5 Mistakes that Fast Growing Churches Make

If you’ve ever been a part of a fast growing church you know how much fun it can be. New people who are unfamiliar with Jesus begin attending, friends are bringing friends, you’re adding new staff members, you’re building buildings, you’re starting new ministries, and most important of all people are meeting Jesus and being baptized. Often times in a fast growing church it can feel as though you have so much momentum that as long as you don’t do anything drastically wrong you’ll ride that wave of momentum forever.

Over the past 19 years of full-time ministry I’ve been fortunate to personally work at some fast growing churches. And now in the past few years working with the Unstuck Group I’ve had the privileged to watch churches take courageous steps to get unstuck and begin experiencing significant growth for the first time in years.

If you’ve been in ministry for any length of time you know that momentum won’t always be on your side, growth won’t always be taking place, and things won’t always be up and to the right. Often momentum is lost when things are at their best because churches don’t know how to behave when things are going well. In fact below are the 5 biggest mistakes I’ve seen fast growing churches make.

1. They Implement too many Policies

To borrow an idea from another post I wrote called “Why Policies are Bad for your Church…” Policies are rules that shrink the box of creativity, problem solving, and big ideas. Policies set the standard for how we do what we do every time we do it. And that’s fine if we’re on an assembly line making cars. You want consistency in that situation. But disciple making is not the same thing as making cars. Too many policies will stall the growth of any organization, including your church.

2. They Fail to Prepare for Lean Moments

During seasons of fast growth churches are notorious for living “hand to mouth,” and leveraging every dollar in an attempt to ride the wave of momentum and keep things going. Not only is this thinking naïve, it’s an unbiblical approach to finances. Take a quick read of Proverbs and you’ll find plenty of encouragement from Solomon (the wisest & wealthiest man to ever walk the planet) to save for a rainy day.

3. They Overreach

Bill Gates the Co-Founder of Microsoft once said that, “Success is a lousy teacher. It reduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Winning can be addicting and it lulls you into thinking that you can’t lose. As a result many fast growing churches overreach. They extend further than they can support and bite off more than they can chew. As a result of their lack of discipline they unknowingly undermine their own growth.

4. They think the Staff Team will Continue to keep pace with the Growth

While it would be great (and romantic) to keep the same staff team that got you where you are, unfortunately it’s not always realistic. It’s not strange that a particular staff person is exactly what’s needed during a certain season or stage of growth. But it is a rare thing that those same team members are able or willing to go through the necessary personal changes to continue to lead as the ministry becomes more complex as the church grows.

5. They don’t know Why they’re Growing

If you don’t know why you’re growing right now you won’t know what to do when the growth begins to slow, or worse it just flat out stalls or begins to decline. You’ll begin to grasp at straws, mimicking others methods that have experienced success instead of leaning in the core cultural identity and vision that God has given you.

Photo Credit: Alec Macias via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership
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