Most of the people in your church won’t understand this, but leading a church is really hard.
Much of what you do depends on volunteers and busy people. Every leader reading this has gotten the 8AM text message from the volunteer who had “something come up” and an email from a key leader who “just needs to take a little break.”
And, of course, the ministry is funded with donations. The average Christian gives just 2.5% of their income to charity, and your church is competing with the Salvation Army and the Humane Society. To top it all off, most people feel like giving their time is good enough, keeping their money in the bank in order to cover their credit card bills.
Then there’s the issue of actually reaching your community. If the church service is just a collection of saints who care more about being comfortable and don’t really invite their unchurched friends, neighbors, and co-workers, are you really going to make a difference?
How can you encourage people to give, serve, invite…to care? It’s not that you aren’t called and committed to the mission of the local church. And it’s not like you’re a dummy. Most of the pastors and leaders we work with are educated, articulate and good leaders. It’s that there’s a lot to lead, a lot at stake and a lot that needs your focus. And while the Holy Spirit is everywhere, you can’t be. Deep down, you know the mission of the church matters and your church should be growing faster than it is. You believe people should be more engaged.
If we were to spend some time over coffee, here’s what I would challenge you to do.
1. Clarify what really matters. Of all the things you could do, I’d press you to get everything boiled down to just one page. Think of it like a one-page business plan for your church.
2. Build leaders, volunteers and donors who are excited about the mission. Plans without people don’t really matter, do they.
3. Make plans that get the right things done and leave you time to be a spouse, parent, friend and all-around good human. Passion and vision isn’t enough, you need a strategic growth plan.
4. Align your team and your ministries, deciding which to leverage, which to leave, and which to let go. All your people on all your problems isn’t going to work anymore…it’s time to focus.
5. Implement systems and strategies, making sure the right things are done in the right ways. 9 out of 10 churches don’t have the systems inplace to grow, but the good news is this problem can be fixed.
You probably agree with all of this, but you’re worried it’s going to take a lot of time. The good news is you don’t need to do it all now, you just need to take that first step.