“You have to have the right tools to do the job right!” Remember your dad telling you this? It might have been when you tried to use pliers to pull out a nail, or a rock to pound it in. Tools make a difficult job easier, and make a rough job look finished.
In ministry, we use tools to help other people, but there are tools that we can use to understand the ministry God put us in, help us determine what our next steps should be, and insure that those next steps get accomplished. This month, I’m going to help you use some basic process tools to take a look at your ministry and set some goals for 2013. To start with, we have a three-part series that will help you, your board and staff lay a firm foundation for the next stage that God is calling you to.
Let’s lay the foundation. First, draw a circle on a piece of paper.
Now divide your circle into five parts.
If you hate drawing, run make two copies—over the next three weeks, we are going to use this diagram three different ways to help you look at your church. When you are done, you will be able to see the main areas that God wants to work on this year, and you will have developed a schematic for moving forward.
Now, you should have three pieces of paper in front of you, each with five pieces of pie on them.
Let’s label the first pie Balanced Ministry
Rick Warren describes a balanced ministry as having five purposes all working together. We are going to label each part of the balanced ministry pie according to these purposes:
Imagine that the inside of the circle is 0, and the outside is 10. For each of these areas of ministry, color in the portion of the pie that represents where your church is. For example, you might consider your worship to be pretty good—you might give yourself a “6”. Color in about 6/10 of the Worship piece of pie. Then, move onto Fellowship. Think about all the things your church does for fellowship. On a scale of 1-10, what would you give it? Color in that part of the pie accordingly.
Do the same for Discipleship, Evangelism and Ministry.
You will likely end up with a rather odd looking pie, some portions might look like someone ate most of the portion.
Now, prayerfully consider where God has called your church to be in each of these areas. Your church has a unique personality and is designed to be stronger in some areas than others (just like people). What has God called your church to be?
Go around the circle again, and write on the outside of each portion what number God has called you to.
For example, maybe you put Evangelism at a 4, but you feel that God wants to move your church to a 6 this year. Write a six on the outside of the circle. Then answer this question:
What would it take for us to move from a 4 to a 6?
Do this for each of the five areas. When you are done, you will have some concrete goals to move your church forward in 2013.
However, thinking about something only makes it possible. Now, take those goals and answer this question:
What needs to happen for this goal to be a reality?
These are your action steps. Once you create action steps, you have moved your goals from being possibilities to probabilities, but one more thing is necessary. What you schedule will actually happen.
Take the list of action steps and work them into your calendar.
God has called your church to do a great work in your community. Since He called the church to the work, this might be a very powerful tool for you to use with your board and staff together. This tool will work for any ministry. Next week we are going to understand your church better by looking at the five love languages and how your church uses them.
Kim Martinez is an ordained Assemblies of God pastor with a Masters of Theology from Fuller Seminary. She is a ministry and life development coach, and can be found online at www.deepimprints.com.