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Archive for June, 2017

Reaching the Next Level – 3

This week, we continue to explore the three key elements of getting your church to the “next level” by looking at the second critical component–Organization.

  1. Organization

Organization asks the question, “Who is falling through the cracks?” The question seeks to explore what we are losing track of because your level of organization will ultimately determine how much you can manage.

For example, if you hold a very effective outreach, but in your organizational effort, you fail to plan for follow-up or fail to get the names of those you have contacted, your results will be more difficult to preserve than if you had such information and planning. If you have a way to collect guest names from Sunday, you are far more likely to keep them attending. Failures in organization will cause slow leaks in your ministry efforts.

At the same time, good organizational principles open the door for your ministry to grow. Most growing churches have established effective organizational systems to manage their people and ministries. if they haven’t, their growth cannot be sustained for long.

Jesus described a true shepherd as one who would “leave the ninety-nine” to go search for one lost lamb. That implies remarkable organization, as the shepherd would have to keep track of each lamb to even realize one is missing. Frankly, in most churches, someone could be absent for two months before leaders realize we haven’t seen them in awhile.

Now, you don’t have to be organized to attract a lot of people to your church. You can prioritize excellence and draw them in with the quality and excitement of everything you do. But, to maintain that high level, you’ll need to keep climbing the excellence ladder–higher every week–and that’s not easy, or truly the idea of ministry.

But, like excellence, good organization can get out of balance. Organizing people doesn’t replace ministering to them any more than the disciples’ effort to sit the people in groups of 50-100 would feed them. They still needed the miracle that Jesus provided with those loaves and fish.

If you want to get to the next level, talk to leaders who are already at that level and learn from their organizational methods. There are numerous conferences that offer such insights, but be sure you’re learning from those at the next level, and not those several levels beyond your current goal. Our organization efforts can only grow as fast as our available resources, so a church of 200 will typically find the organizational strategies of a megachurch to be a bit out of reach (and probably not needed yet).

An ever-growing effort of organization is critical to reaching the next level of effectiveness. And, alongside Excellence, you now have 2/3 of the puzzle pieces in your hands, but the third piece is yet to come–and it’s the most essential part. Next week, we’ll tackle this most important element as we conclude our series Getting to the Next Level.

 

 

Reaching the Next Level – 2

Last time, we began introduced our journey through the three key elements of getting your church to the “next level.” This week, let’s look at the first of these–Excellence.

1. Excellence

Excellence asks the question, “Are we doing things well?” As the label implies, this element focuses on the quality with which we do what we do. Getting to the next level will always require an increase in the quality of ministry effort. We simply must learn to do what we do better and better.

Excellence also speaks of how well we do the right things. For example, how is the quality of our public presentation? Are our primary ministries done with excellence? Do we give our best or do people experience a haphazard effort when they encounter us?

Now, I now that some of us want to resist here. We know that ministry is far more than just quality presentation–and we’re right! If your platform presentation exceeds your discipleship production, your church will grow but not in a healthy manner. For some greater excellence seems like a short-cut to where they want to go, so they trek to numerous conferences, never missing a chance to see how to do it better.

As we will see in the next two weeks, excellence can never stand alone in the pursuit of greater effectiveness, but it must be a part of the mix. Don’t let yourself become too proud or defensive to learn from those who reached your desired level ahead of you.

One way to improve your excellence is to take a look at how someone at your desired next level does things. you can learn a lot from the quality efforts of others so don’t be afraid to learn from the best, or at least those who are doing things better.

Large churches often speak of DNA. Their level of excellence is a large part of what they mean. They have a way of doing things that can often be injected into a new place or even a struggling place with rapid results.

So if you want to get to the next level, you need to look at the major pieces of your current ministry effort. Consider ways to elevate the quality of your effort. Don’t let status quo become your church’s DNA. Learn from others and apply some of their insights where you see potential. Keep yourself growing and your own excellence climbing and you can remove some of the barriers currently standing between you and the greater effectiveness you long for.

But don’t leave us now…you don’t want to get to the next level riding excellence alone. Next week, we’ll add another component and in our final week, we’ll see the most critical piece of all–the one that will take you to your next level, no matter where you are at today.