July 12, 2017

What Makes for a Successful Ministry – Part Two

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In part one of this Whiteboard discussion, Andy Bossardet and Eliza Bast talked about defining your ministry’s current reality. This week’s episode will continue to show you how to reorient your inputs and outcomes to not only achieve your calling, but also to reflect your reality by entering into three levels of conversation.

As you do the work of discerning God’s mission and calling on your church, it is important to do so in the context of conversations. After all, God speaks through the entire body of Christ. But it’s key to resist the temptation to rush into brainstorming and execute the first idea that sounds good enough.

Leaders need to begin to pursue focus and missional integrity by discerning the three levels of conversation they have each day about their ministries:

  1. Maintenance: These conversations simply keep the ship afloat. They’re the ones that ensure that the all the classrooms are clean and that the right number of volunteers have been recruited. This will be most of the conversations you have by volume – but they don’t take up a ton of energy.
  2. Preferential: Don’t worry – this has nothing to do with consumerism in the church! This isn’t preference in the sense of giving the customer what the customer wants. Rather, preferential conversations help you choose a direction for your ministries among many excellent choices. This requires patience, discernment and, for the leader, a listening ear.
  3. Missional. This is the deepest level of conversation. It answers the question, “why are we doing this ministry in the first place?”  Many leaders don’t ever reach this level of conversation because it’s difficult – and it opens up the risk of loss. When you dig into the purpose behind a particular ministry, you might find that it shouldn’t continue. When you don’t have these conversations, some churches have too many programs – and not enough focus. Take an opportunity to open up the conversation to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let some ministries go – and focus resources in on the remaining programs that really advance your mission as a church.

With these three layers in mind, you’ll be able to not only execute more work towards your mission, but you’ll be able to take a step back and deeply consider your intentions behind each ministry. You’ll be open to sense the Holy Spirit’s leading into the future. So whether your church is small or large, focus is what determines its impact and transformational power within the community.

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