Trying Harder Won’t Fix Your Church

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Conventional wisdom tells us that when things get difficult we just need to work harder, work smarter or somehow upgrade the quality of our work. But what do you do when trying harder doesn’t work? It probably means it’s time for you to stop doing the same old thing with more effort, more efficiency, or more quality and to start implementing new strategies. It’s time to try something entirely new.

#1 New Vision

Vision answers the question, “Where are we going?” It’s simply the “next hill” that you’re taking. It’s the ability to understand the times, know the right direction to move, and involve and inspire people to go there with you.

The problem with vision is that it needs to be refreshed every 3-5 years. Because once you’ve taken the hill, you have to identify the next hill or the church will lose momentum and get stuck.

#2 New Structures

Your church is perfectly structured to get the results you’re getting right now. It’s not uncommon for a church to outgrow a structure that served it well in a particular season and size. That same structure can become a lid to future growth. This can occur multiple times in the life of a church. The way the church board is structured, the way the staff team is structured, the polity of a church, and the structure of the church budget can all become lids to growth if they don’t change over time as the church changes.

Don’t like the results you’re getting? It might be time to build a new structure.

#3 New Systems

Systems help us answer the question, “How are we going to reproduce this?” It could be reproducing disciples, leaders, church plants, new multisite campuses, or a consistent weekend worship experience at your church. Systems are made up of complex independent parts working together to perform a function (think skeletal system or solar system). For our purposes, building a system is the art of connecting the core values, structures, strategies, goals, and vision to work in alignment and build a culture that leans toward fulfilling the mission.

Your church may be stuck because you’ve outgrown some of your systems.

#4 New Voices

When things get difficult, we usually start with ourselves for the solution, asking, “What can I do to fix it?” If we can’t solve it on our own, then we turn our attention to our coworkers, friends and finally our networks. What if the solutions to your biggest problems are outside of your normal relational web? What if it’s time to get new voices at the table, getting outside your industry and tribe to look for new solutions?

 


Ready for a new voice to help your church create new new solutions?

Take a first step and connect with The Unstuck Group. We don’t tell churches who to be or what to do; we help you clarify where you believe God’s called you to go and how to get there.

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About Author

Paul is a Ministry Consultant with The Unstuck Group. Paul has more than 20 years experience serving in the local church, the last 15 of which have been on the Sr. Leadership Teams of some of the nation’s leading mega-churches. Currently, Paul is serving as the Executive Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church, a large multi-site church located in the Phoenix area.

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