Does the word “system” strike fear in your heart or cause you to run for the hills? After all, you followed a call to minister to people in the name of Jesus, not run a business. But you’ve probably experienced the ramifications for not properly thinking through how your church will do specific activities. Implementing systems can be overwhelming because it’s hard to know where to start.
In Episode 3, we had the opportunity to talk to Church Fuel founder and CEO Michael Lukaszewski about how to have strategic systems in your church.
Guest Links: Michael Lukaszewski
Website | http://www.churchfuel.com
Michael on Twitter | @mlukaszewski
Church Fuel on Twitter | @churchfuel
Michael’s latest book | Streamline: How to Create Healthy Church Systems
Links Mentioned in this Episode
Church Fuel’s free resources.
What You Can Start Doing Now
Here are 3 systems you can implement starting today…and they’re free!
- Service planning. The Sunday experience (or whenever your church’s main gathering time happens to be) is one of the most visible and accessible systems in your church. You can improve the quality of your services by properly planning them out. Michael recommends planning your services according to the size, resources and activities of your church. “Planning makes your services better without spending any money.”
- Guest follow-up. It’s exciting to see new faces in the crowd, isn’t it? It energizes you, your leadership, and your volunteers. But when guests don’t return week after week, it can be equally de-energizing. This is why you need a system for guest follow-up. It communicates how much you appreciated them choosing to worship with you and how much you look forward to seeing them again. To get started, Michael encourages asking a few simple questions:
- How are we going to follow-up with guests after they visit? Traditionally, churches have used phone calls, thank you cards, and even personal visits (not recommended). The one must in today’s environment is email. Create a way to capture email addresses and log them into an automation tool of some sort, such as MailChimp.
- What are the first emails we want them to receive from us? SMS co-host Bobby Williams create an excellent resource outlining an email sequence you can use to follow up with guests. You can also check out SMS E14 to hear us break it down.
- What’s the one thing we want people to do next? Next steps are a big part of discipleship, but determining which steps are natural and easy to take can take trial and error and lots of time. For a first time guest, the next step might be encouraging them to visit the website or blog to learn more about the church. Or it could be sharing information about the next Sunday’s service to entice them to make a return visit.
- Volunteer recruitment. Volunteers are what make every church run, regardless of size. Which is why it’s important to develop a way to regularly recruit to help resource your volunteer teams. Michael suggests first to understand how many volunteers you need and in what areas. Then, determine when you want them to sign up. And, finally, plan out how you are going to assimilate them into existing teams.
Michael has been a former youth pastor, church planter, senior pastor, and church consultant. He currently is the Founder and CEO of Church Fuel, a company dedicated to helping pastors by providing practical resources to move their churches forward.
- We have to be good stewards of the leadership positions we’ve been placed in. We have to lead strategically. It’s doing the best and being the best with what God’s given you.
- Why should small church pastors and leaders give energy and attention to systems and strategies in their church? It’s a stewardship thing, the majority of systems that are broken in your church are free to your church…it just requires focus, time, and little money
- What are some reasons that cause church leaders to overlook systems and strategy? Time/Busyness. We schedule interruptions to work, not the important things. Make an appointment with yourself to sit and think about the systems that need to be fixed and how to fix them. Don't get overwhelmed about what needs to be fixed and the steps involved, solve the problems one at a time.
- What are some big church systems that small churches can implement for free?
- Service planning: Plan your services according to the size, resources and activities of your church. Don’t “wing it” with your services. Planning make your services better without spending any money
- Following up with guests: How are you going to follow up with guests after they visit?What are the first emails we want them to receive from us? What’s the one thing you want people to do next?
- Volunteer recruitment: How many volunteers do you need? When do you want them to sign up? How are you going to assimilate them?
- What is the one system that a young pastor can work on? Service planning, think about what you want people to experience.
Michael’s final thoughts:
- Focus your efforts on one system that needs work and work on it.
- Pick the one system that gives you the most opportunity to grow.
So What's Next?
Feel like your church should be growing, but it's not?
Ultimately, church growth is up to God. Are we being good stewards of what He's given us? 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. So we created a free guide to breaking barriers that will bring clarity and help begin to alleviate your frustrations.
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