Monday, January 24, 2011

Three Reasons Churches Fail or Flounder in Mediocrity

1. Launching too many ministries.
Most ministries begin with good intentions, trying to meet a legitimate need. Over time these ministries can become expensive, volunteer intensive, and a drain on limited resources. All the while, their effectiveness dwindles. When launching a ministry you must consider its sustainability. It may not cost much now, but what about later? Having too many ministries within a church spreads people and rescoures too thin. It's better to do a few things in a quality manner rather than a lot of things with poor quality.

2. Being sidetracked by difficult people. New churches attract some great people, but they are also a breeding ground for difficult people. Talking a good talk, these people often come in with baggage that sidetracks your church off its mission. Before long, you’re spending a great deal of time justifying what you do to people who are misaligned. Instead of reaching people, you’re coddling people. I’m talking about the volunteers who just can’t submit to leadership, the finance team member who always seems to have a problem with spending money on outreach, or the former board member who wants your church to be a little more like his last church. You just can’t work with these people. It’s better to marginalize them or just show them the door.

3. Spending too much time working “in” the church, and not “on” the church. In new churches especially, the work comes at a fast a furious pace. You had months to plan your first service, but only six days to plan the next. You’re starting things, launching initiatives, meeting with people, visiting hospitals, doing ministry and running operations on a seven day deadline every week. While some of this is necessary, if you never back up to evaluate and create healthy systems, then you’re going to stay stuck in the hamster wheel of activity. Church leaders must work on the organizational side of things, create processes, and develop healthy systems. You've got to stop reacting to this week’s problem and implement long-term strategies.

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