A friend in ministry recently asked me what questions church leaders should be asking. I thought about the types of questions I try to help answer when I’m working with them in the church consulting or coaching relationships. Here are the first questions and some bonus thoughts that came to mind:
- When was the last time I heard from God? Am I doing what he called me to do? This is the “Acts 6” question. Acts 6 is a great reminder that it’s possible to be doing the ministry of God without doing the ministry God has called us to do.
- What should our church be known for in this community? For a moment, ignore anyone who attends your church. What does the rest of the community know about your church? That’s a better reflection of whether or not you’re really accomplishing your vision.
- Are we really focusing our time, money, leadership, prayer behind the things that will produce life change and community impact? If not, there’s a good chance that “fairness” is driving these decisions. Fairness never produces revolution.
- Is our church growing both spiritually and in numbers? Churches that are stuck and not bearing fruit hate this question. As I’ve shared before, I don’t believe healthy churches are necessarily big churches, but healthy churches are growing churches.
- Is there a clear path to help people take steps in their faith with the ultimate goal of them becoming fully-devoted followers of Christ? Having a vibrant Sunday worship experience is only one component of that. I’m amazed at how many churches haven’t really established a discipleship strategy beyond Sunday morning.
- Have you taken the time to identify what a fully-devoted follower of Christ looks like? Most churches haven’t done this, so they end up just “doing church” without any intentionality of purpose or process.
- Are you empowering the people of God to do God’s work? This is the “Ephesians 4:12-13” question. Declining churches pay people to do all the ministry. Growing churches challenge people to use their gifts.
- Are you developing leaders? This includes both spiritual discipleship and leadership mentoring, and I think it’s what’s going to distinguish the churches that last longer than one generation.
- Is my community any different because of my ministry? We may need a whole new set of measures to confirm whether or not our churches are really making an impact.
- Do believers see their ministry happening only at the church or have they become missionaries to their families, their neighborhoods, their workplaces, their schools, etc.? Honestly, I’m really tired of Christians thinking God saved them to go church on Sunday and then eventually experience Heaven. Our purpose is much bigger than that.
- Do I have the right leaders around me to accomplish the vision? Read Exodus 18:18-23. This isn’t some new business leadership principle. This is biblical advice that’s been around for thousands of years and still applies today.
Those are the first questions that popped to my mind. What are the questions you are asking as a leader in the church?