Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Nail is in our Tire.

There is a nail in our tires. What is the natural thing to do? Repair or replace? Most would patch because tires are expensive but than wear and tear on the old tire takes it toll ... and eventually the tire wears out.

The same thing can be said of the Church. There is just something about the cycle movement of the church. You have your UPs and DOWNs ... but no matter how hard you try - sometimes you feel like you're not accomplishing much - no matter how you or others try.

You try to put your finger on it. Is it apathy? Is it that people don't care? Is it because we're burning out volunteers? Is it hiring more staff to fix the problem in which you just throw money at it? How do we get the leak to stop and start being an effective church body?

Do we patch our programs right now? Add more, replace? what?

The more I've been thinking about this, the more I see what is happening in our little own context called the church.

1. Let's find the Nail. 
2. Let's get the nail out.
3. Let's patch the hole for now.
4. Let's start looking for new tires.

For our church it might look like the following:

1. Survey the Church. Honest feedback.

What do they like about our Church? (We recently did a three word series to describe the church Good/ Bad and gave some insight)
What do they see as areas that need to improve?
What would they like to see?
In answer to the above, are you willing to help achieve that?

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Here is one area that a lot of churches are in. 85% of church are 150 or less in America. We look to the other 15% as successful. We think adding staff is a good thing. We're in the Catch 22 stage - too big to be small; too small to be big. We're looking to possibly hire our next staff position. Thinking youth minister. Problem is - we're not ready. (Though same is said about marriage, and kids - if you're ever get ready - you won't have kids or get married etc).

The bigger issue is we don't want to hire a staff person to do it all.

Here are some things that I think we need to do:

1. Look at our infrastructure.  Defining what makes up our congregation. I believe we've been doing this with our flowchart.

2. Get feedback from survey, and volunteers.

3. Meet with leaders, listen to their stories.

4. Meet with parents. Ask for feedback (one of our areas of weaknesses and strengthens happens to be our passion for caring for children but wanting it to be better - might help if all on same page). Someone suggested to have a vote or raise of hands if want a youth minister. (all noble - but if you want a youth/ children/ music/ etc. You have to get the people directly impacted and volunteers first)

5. Define perimeters. When you open up a dialogue - caution must be exercised ... people might think "The Sky is falling ..." (When in reality it is not). One of the things I appreciate about criticism is its viewed as a way to improve ... (Isn't that what the Church is suppose to be about? Improving to be like Jesus?) not as a destructive mechanism to please people's personal agendas.

6. Celebrate Victories. Big time.

Is there anything else you would do? How would you survey your congregation? Do you have a leak? Always see ways to improve?

What questions would you ask?

What things do you celebrate?  (I'm still thrilled over new people coming to Jesus, joining our congregation, being Jesus to the community, starting to get jobs, and just putting their hands to the plow ...)

Be praying.

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