The answer to something stagnant or in decline is fresh vision.
Are you living in the default mode…you’re just doing what you did last week and the week before that? While many are opposed to change, the only way you will grow is by changing. And the best way to change is with fresh vision…that everyone helps create and support.
Here are three keys that will help grow your church – even when not everyone wants to grow.
The Essential Key – People support what they help create
Many leaders make the mistake of creating new ideas in a vacuum. They get their top staff and maybe a few board members or elders together for a meeting to determine the future of the church – what the church should do over the next few months or year. Then they announce it to the rest of the staff, board and eventually the congregation and expect everyone to embrace it and get on board.
There’s a better way – include everyone in the church. First, hold a core meeting (see Developing the Core document). Make this as inclusive as possible. Get at least 30% of your church to attend. Hold the meeting on an evening and start with pizza, spaghetti or just something simple – the key is to have food (people will come because there’s food). Be sure to set the room with round tables and try to get 8-10 at each table. Then start the meeting with a short devotional. Lead everyone in the room through a prayer that invites the Holy Spirit to speak to everyone in the room about the future direction of the church.
The Second Key – Let everyone weigh in
After the devotional, ask everyone to make a list of what great things have taken place at your church that you want to make sure will be part of your future plans and any new ideas they have for the church in the area of Outreach, Spiritual Growth and Leadership Development. Give everyone 10 minutes to talk at their table and make their lists. Then have them pick the top one or two best things from their table and write them on sticky notes and then come up and place them on a white board in the front of the room and place them into one of three categories – Outreach, Spiritual Growth, Leadership Development.
(Most churches will have a board filled with sticky notes that looks like the bell curve. There will be very few stickies in the Outreach category, the majority will be in the Spiritual Growth category and there will be very few in the Leadership Development category.
The Third Key – Pick the top three in each category
Next, have each table vote on the top three in every category. One of the easiest ways to do this is to give everyone three colored sticky dots or stars. Have everyone put one star on their top pick in each category. At end of this exercise, your church will have come up with what they feel are the most important things for your church in each category to focus on moving forward.
The Final Step – Make a list of the top vote getters in each category and meet with your leadership team. Put the list in priority order of what your leadership team feels is most important of those top there in every category and then let everyone in the church and staff hear the outcome. Because you invited everyone to attend (again, see Developing the Core for details about inviting everyone), you now have the support of everyone to see those goals through to fruition.
If you would like further detail on how to create mission and vision, we recommend you attend the 6-week Church Goals collaborative. Follow this link for more information: https://bit.ly/ChurchGoalsClass