The thought of making a difference stirs you to take action. The excitement of something unique and fresh drives you to step out in faith and plant a church. The first year of the church plant may not have been perfect, but the forward momentum keeps you focused and on track.
Now, years later, you are stuck.
Stuck in a rut. Stuck in a funk or whatever you want to label it. The excitement has been replaced with problems. Maybe you have a building at this point and ministry seems more like property maintenance. There are thousands of possible scenarios. The question now is – “How do You get Unstuck?”
There is the spiritual side and there is a practical side.
I’m going to assume you are good vertically – meaning you haven’t neglected prayer and reading the Word outside of your sermon prep. I’m also assuming you take the time to listen to the Holy Spirit. With those assumptions in place (but not to be taken lightly), let’s look at some practical things to consider.
1) Stop comparing yourself to others!
Stop looking solely at the numbers of butts in seats and start looking at other metrics that indicate church health.
Elevation Church is the rarity and not the norm. Stop using them as the gauge for your success.
If you want a healthier outlook, consider this: You and the church you are comparing your church are the same team! #TeamJesus
Other metrics to consider:
- How many are serving at the local church level?
- How many people are involved in Small Groups?
- How many people are inviting friends?
2) Identify your dream team
I’m going to use some “Good to Great” book verbiage. When we first start planting, it’s about getting people on the bus. When a person is not passionate about an area of ministry, it shows, and it has ripple effects. We need the right people in the right seats on the bus if we want the church to be most effective in making disciples.
Find a church or ministry that is excelling in an area of ministry and send your team to get training. Don’t fear going beyond tribal (denominational or network) lines to receive the help you require.
To summarize this point:
- Identify who is the right fit to lead each area of ministry
- Get them the training they need to get to uplevel that ministry
3) While God’s message is everlasting – methodologies change over time.
What worked ten years ago may not work today. I have rarely seen children get excited about flannel graph. A couple of decades ago it was cutting edge. Today… not so much.
The truth is there are some things we do at church, and there is no reasoning or thought behind it. The program or ministry hasn’t been effective for years. When asked why you are offering a particular program or why does a specific ministry exist when only two people attend, the reply is, “Because we’ve always done it that way.” Sorry, that’s not an acceptable reason.
I challenge you to think more along the lines of effectiveness, not tradition, determining every ministry or program within the local church.