This isn’t for senior pastors. (Though these same principles apply to your ministry.) And this post isn’t about weekend services. (Though it could be.) This advice is for every church leader who is responsible for a ministry, program or event that functions outside of the weekend services. (I’m pretty confident what I’m about to share is going to tick you off.) Here are:
9 Do’s and Don’ts for Ministry Growth
- You don’t need a logo. A new logo isn’t the key to successful ministry. Life change is the key to successful ministry. Only Jesus can change lives. Yes, there are times when you’ll need to update your branding; however, it’s not going to make or break your ministry.
- Your fancy flyers won’t help. 80% of the people who show up to a weekend service come with a friend who invites them. That same principle applies to your ministry as well. If people aren’t inviting their friends, that’s likely a ministry problem and not a promotions problem.
- Put people first. Life change happens most often within the context of relationships. If your ministry isn’t helping people engage in relational connections (inside and outside of the church), then your ministry will not grow.
- Lead your ministry. You should focus on that. You aren’t gifted at promotions (even though you think you are). You should let communications professionals focus on that, and stop fighting against the people who are trying to help you. Spend more time doing ministry and less time trying to promote your ministry.
- Remember: print is dead. (this coming from someone who writes books). It’s highly likely that whatever you’re printing for your audience will just end up in a trash can. Any business in America relying on print media is dying a slow death. You should always think Web first with an emphasis on interactivity and building relationships.
- Don’t wait on the church to establish online community. That’s your responsibility. Most people you’re trying to reach won’t visit your church’s website, but they will engage with your Web presence on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, your blog, etc.
- You probably need to cut programs and events. Less is more. If you have fewer events and less programs, more people will connect with your ministry. Stop confusing them and help them focus on the next appropriate step. (Check this out.)
- Grow through volunteers. As much as possible, let staff support ministry and encourage volunteers to be responsible for face-to-face connections with the people you are trying to reach or help. When you take those roles out of the hands of volunteers, you’ve essentially limited the growth of your ministry…and taken away their responsibility to make disciples.
- You are not competing against other ministries. As soon as you sense “your ministry” is competing with another ministry in your church for money, volunteers, space, calendar time, platform promotions, etc., you should resign. You are not a leader. You are, at best, a manager of resources and, at worst, the one holding the entire ministry back from growth and unity.