I know it doesn’t make sense… but it is often true in the church. When many changes need to be made, the temptation is to tackle them all at the same time. From a leadership position, it can all make sense. From a church member’s perspective, it can feel like everything is out of control.
When I tell my kids they have 30 minutes left before bed; there is a scramble- the franticness of the scramble keeps them from having any spare time to read or play with toys. But, when they take a deep breath, pick up their room, gather their toys from around the house, take their bath, and brush their teeth, there is time left over to read or do something else.
If you have ever had a church react franticly to your list of ideas for change- Consider that the fastest path to change is one step at a time.
As I write this many decisions need to be made, or could be done, in the life of our church:
- We need to expand our facility to accommodate our growth.
- We need to add additional staff to accommodate our growth.
- We need to move from 2 services and 1 Sunday School to 2 Services and 2 Sunday Schools to help our growth and create margin for future growth.
- We are considering starting an alternate venue during our 2nd service because it is full.
- We could launch a new campus 15 miles from our current location to share the gospel and make disciples with a sizable core group already driving from there.
- We need a strategy for planting new churches outside our 20-mile radius
- We need to update our webpage and build a site that accomplishes our desires but need someone to create and manage it.
The list could go on, but these are real needs and opportunities that we are facing. You would think that we could sit down, run the numbers, and knock out many of these quickly. But, after listening to lay, leaders and members, you will get a different perspective. The “We haven’t done that before” comments would set a new world record- and they would be correct. We haven’t done much of this before.
Prioritizing this list through prayer and discussion has been our first step. Now, we will work on it one step at a time, while behind the scenes preparing ourselves for the next step. But, the order of steps may change as well. Our goal is to be ready for what is next, not always determine what is next. An open-handed approach to leadership is challenging some of the time and sanctifying all of the time.
Don’t be afraid to slow down in your execution while you focus on one thing at a time. Move forward in a manner that is digestible by the lay leaders and congregation. Don’t quit praying, thinking, preparing, and dreaming. Be ready, because as change happens, it results in more change.
A healthy church is consistently adjusting to the various ways the Lord is growing the people in their faith and their number. Which means a healthy leader is continuously adapting to aim the church in the direction that accomplishes God mission and results in the spiritual growth of the congregation.