September 17, 2019 Tony Morgan

Measuring Church Health: 5 Signs of Dysfunction

Numbers aren’t everything, but numbers can provide perspective that we don’t see otherwise.

During the first portion of The Unstuck Process, we assess your church’s health through a Ministry Health Assessment—the “win” for this is that your team gets a fresh perspective on where you have been, where you are now, and where your church may be stuck (you can learn more about that here).

We agree that numbers aren’t everything, but numbers can provide perspective that we don’t see otherwise.

We collect data in key areas like attendance, giving and ministry connections in this assessment, but over the years, we’ve also compiled some data on the opinions of staff and lay leaders in the churches we serve.

And to be frank, the results of these leadership surveys are somewhat startling.

For the most part, churches strongly agree that they have biblical preaching that leads to life application.

Both staff leaders and lay leaders agree that their structure allows pastors and staff leaders the freedom to lead.

Churches also agree that they have a clearly defined mission establishing the primary purpose for why the church exists.

My team and I are encouraged by this; but, there are a handful of not-so-encouraging themes that caught our attention—

Churches lack vision.

There’s not a clear vision for the future with measurable milestones. Neither the staff nor the lay leaders know where the church is hoping to go in the next three to five years.

Leaders don’t lead with their giving.

Staff, elders and board members are free to serve in leadership roles even though they may not be fully supporting the church with their finances.

One church I was recently with just confirmed that 40% of their leaders weren’t contributing financially to the church’s mission. If you’re not invested in the ministry of your church, how can you expect your congregation to do the same? If you're not invested in the ministry of your church, how can you expect your congregation to do the same? Click To Tweet

There’s no strategy for leadership development.

Our concern is that if leaders are not being mentored and discipled, it’s unlikely that this is happening in any area of the ministry with any intentionality.

My team and I write a lot about leadership development, mostly because we hear pastors talking about this a lot. And—without developing new leaders, your ministry won’t grow, and we won’t be leading more people to Jesus. If leaders are not being mentored and discipled, it's unlikely that this is happening in any area of the ministry with any intentionality. Click To Tweet

Ministries do not have action plans.

They do not have clearly defined initiatives. Priorities have not been established, so it’s unclear where time and resources are supposed to be invested. Without a clear action plan, churches drift back to doing what they’ve always done.

This is what Unstuck Process is all about—clarifying your vision and equipping you with a plan to execute towards vision.

Sunday will keep coming. Ministry won’t slow down. Developing the tools, systems and rhythms to see the plan through is key for follow-through.

The staff doesn’t have clear expectations.

Since ministry priorities are not clear, it stands to reason that clear expectations for staff are also lacking. Because of that, paid staff do not know what the win looks like in their roles.

Defining role clarity as a priority creates systems that will help you lead your team to health, ultimately helping your team lead more people to Jesus.

I actually wrote on this not too long ago. Defining role clarity as a priority creates systems that will help you lead your team to health, ultimately helping your team lead more people to Jesus. Click To Tweet

How are you doing in each of these areas? Are you seeing similarities in your church?

If so, and you’re interested in exploring what it looks like to work with our team, Let’s talk.

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Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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