Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

strategy-for-communicationWe’ve all seen it before. The team meeting went exceptionally well and everyone is energized by ideas that could greatly improve the church.

But only six months later, conversations about “What will happen when … ?” have degenerated into “What ever happened to … ?” The initiative that once had everyone excited eventually landed in the “graveyard of good ideas.”

There are a few common reasons why good ideas fail. Understanding those barriers is key to ensuring they never get in the way again …

1. Lack of time. Most pastors I know have to-do lists much longer than their calendars will allow for. When this is the case, good ideas are crowded out by immediate responsibilities. Google encourages engineers to leave 20 percent of their time open for new projects that they are passionate about. Likewise, church staff members need room on their plates before they can even dream of turning ideas into action.

2. Everybody’s working for the weekend. Whether we like it or not, Sunday comes every seven days. Most staff positions are built around the weekly demands of creating a great worship service. This relentless short-term deadline makes it difficult for teams to focus on long-term initiatives. You need someone on your team without Sunday responsibilities who can lead projects that require significant follow-through.

3. The wrong person took the ball. There are some people who are gifted to lead through the details of a project. Others on your team are more likely to fumble. Whenever you are delegating the responsibilities of a project, be sure you are putting them in the right hands. Understanding the unique gifts of each of your staff members is key to implementing any idea.

4. Failure to plan. It is easy to get excited about the vision of a new idea. But seeing it through requires additional steps that most teams never take. What specific actions must be taken? Who will do them, and when will they be accomplished? These are all questions that must be answered.

5. Resisting trade-offs. Successful organizations focus on doing a few things very well. Some ideas are so large that they require a trade-off. In these cases, a church must let go of something that exists for the sake of something more effective. Too often, organizations only add without ever subtracting, putting a clear limit on the success of new ideas (i.e., launching small groups without eliminating competing discipleship models). If you want to see a good idea come to fruition, you must be willing to make the required trade-offs.

Keeping good ideas alive involves avoiding each of these barriers. The Unstuck Group can help you do just that. If your team struggles to find time, see beyond Sunday or put the right responsibilities in the right hands, a staffing and structure review can help.

Ryan Stigile is a strategic analyst at Mount Paran Church in Atlanta, Ga. For the original article, visit

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Discouragement can be a serious struggle.

    Guard Your Spirit Against These 4 Crippling Attacks

    Are you struggling this Valentine's Day with one of these discouraging issues?

  • Some of the toughest lessons reap the greatest rewards.

    10 Tough Lessons Every Pastor Should Remember in Ground-Shaking Trials

    One is that your suffering may turn out to be the highest compliment the Father ever gave you.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

    Great leadership doesn't start with a great education, although that is incredibly valuable. ...

  • Worship leaders, keep your team's attitude in check.

    This Can Quickly Erode a Worship Team's Culture

    God has given us talent and He calls for excellence, but excellence with this is not honoring ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Your Source of Unlimited Kingdom Energy and Power

    Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did and that He will do whatever we ask in His Name.

  • What reasons can you think of that leaders might not choose to delegate authority?

    7 Reasons Some Leaders Dump Delegation

    These could have a lot to do with stalled growth and low team morale.

  • These seven responses can get you on the right track.

    Responding Like Jesus When Your Church Kicks You Out

    It's a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more.

  • A 'What's in it for me?' mentality could bring your church down.

    The Mentality That May Be Killing Your Church

    And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued or declining.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders