Your church should have a clear purpose, a specific mission, and a defined strategy.

But no matter how clear things are at the top, if each ministry in your church is not aligned with your overall plan, the result will be chaos.

Organizational clarity isn’t enough.

It must be visible within every ministry.

Your student ministry goals should support your overall church goals.

Your women’s ministry calendar needs to run in tandem with your overall church calendar.

Your plan for recruiting volunteers to serve in the children’s ministry must align itself with the volunteer needs for all the other ministries in your church.

You can have clarity at the top, but if your ministries aren’t on the same page, there are some big time consequences. Here are a few.

  1. Ministries compete over dollars, volunteers, and communication. If each ministry is not truly a part of your overall church strategy, it will not receive proper funding and promotion. Leaders will constantly angle for more money or more people.
  2. You’ll create silos and turf wars. Tony Morgan says misaligned ministries can create ministry silos. When ministries don’t work together, the result is a silo mentality. And a collection of good people trying to do good things doesn’t necessarily translate into a successful ministry.
  3. Misaligned ministries require individual systems. One ministry with one leader will function one way, and another ministry with a different leader will function another way. This is how churches end up with multiple websites, competing databases, and processes that don’t play nice with each other.

Misaligned ministries, no matter how passionate the leader may be, just won’t work.

A lack of alignment is rarely due to bad people; it’s usually due to a lack of planning, focus, and clarity.

The good news is this problem is entirely fixable.

You can get all your ministries aligned and operating off the same page.

Start with a One Page Plan

It starts with creating a one page ministry plan for your church. You’ve got to get clarity at the church level first. And you must put all those things down on paper.

We recommend a one page ministry plan that answers eight things.

  • Purpose: Why do we exist?
  • Mission: What is our current objective?
  • Vision: What does it look like to win?
  • Values: How do we behave?
  • Ministries: What do we do?
  • Strategy: How will we win?
  • Goals: Where do we want to end up?
  • Metrics: What are we going to measure?

We created a template for you and it looks like this:

It’s not easy to answer and agree on these questions, but it’s absolutely a necessary first step.

This one page template is bundled with some practical coaching for you and your team. You can buy the template, along with the coaching, right here.

Make a One Page Plan for Every Ministry

As I said earlier, organizational clarity is not enough. You must push this plan down through every ministry in your church. Your one page plan can’t just be for the leader or the elders; it’s got to make its way into the operations of every individual ministry.

Simply put, every ministry needs a plan that SUPPORTS the overall church plan. Every single ministry needs their own version of the one page plan.

This one page template is designed to be used by every single ministry in your church.

  • Your student ministry needs one.
  • Your groups ministry needs one.
  • Your women’s ministry needs one.
  • Your children’s ministry needs one.
  • Your missions team needs one.

Here’s an example.

Notice the top. Ministry leaders should start by re-writing the mission, vision, values and goals for the overall church.

Not the ministry, but the church.

That’s important.

Because every ministry needs to see themselves as a vital part to help your church accomplish the big-picture plan. Your ministries aren’t doing their own little thing; they are cooperating on something much bigger.

Without this kind of clarity, you’re setting yourself up for internal competition, ministry silos, and competing systems.

But once the ministry sees how they fit, they are free to put their unique spin on the vision and create ministry specific goals. They can align their priorities, plan and events with the church.

The ministry becomes a vital part of the church strategy, not just a tab on a website.

Create Conversations

When we walk teams through the one page ministry plan at the church level and then help ministries create their specific plans, the result is often conversations.

In fact, the goal of the first version of a ministry action plan should be to create conversations.

The goal of the first version is to create conversations. If ministries are trying to do something that does not fit in the overall context of the church, there’s a conversation.

Remember, misalignment doesn’t happen because there are bad people or bad ideas. It’s a natural phenomenon where there is a lack of clarity.

So What’s Next?

Feel like your church should be growing, but it’s not? From someone who used to be a pastor and church planter, I know it can be frustrating.

Ultimately, church growth is up to God. But are we doing everything we can to ensure our church is healthy? How do we overcome the barriers we feel are in front of us?

We know you care deeply about leading a healthy growing church because it means leading more people to Jesus. As a result we created a free guide to breaking barriers that will bring clarity and help begin to alleviate your frustrations.

Get your FREE copy of the Senior Pastor’s Guide to Breaking Barriers today by entering your name and email below.

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In this free PDF we'll cover the cultural, spiritual, and structural growth barriers encountered by most churches.

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