I speak with churches every day who want to have church growth strategies, but nothing they do seems to work. Many say it’s a vision problem, but I disagree. The church may not be living it, but we have the clearest, best defined vision of anyone. (We are to make disciples.) The obvious problem to me of these churches is they aren’t really doing anything new. They do the same things they’ve always done, maybe tweaking some minor aspect, but for all practical purposes, it’s the same.
But, honestly, that’s not the primary reason for a lack of growth, in my opinion. I have learned that if you want to have a culture susceptible and open to growth, there are some common necessary paradigms. You have to think in certain ways. In most every situation, an absence of certain actions or mindsets on the part of leaders keeps the church from moving forward.
What are some of those paradigms?
1. Lead with leaders.
Of course you need followers too, but most people are looking for leadership, especially about things about which they don’t know. In any group, you’ll have a few who are ready to move forward with the changes needed and a few who are opposed to any change you bring. The rest of the people are looking for leadership. Lead with those who are ready to move in a positive direction.
2. Prioritize your time.
You can’t do everything or be everywhere. Let me say that again. You can’t do everything or be everywhere. That doesn’t ignore the expectation placed on you as a leader, but it does recognize your limitations. By the way, the quickest way to burnout and ineffectiveness is to ignore this one.
3. Never waste energy.
When something is working, put fuel into it. All cylinders go. That makes sense, right? Momentum feeds momentum. Yes, in keeping the previous one, that means you’ll have to ignore a few things to do the very best things. But usually the most energy will be in a few key places at a time. Never fail to capitalize on those important moments in time.