Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Here are the nine most common mistakes that churches make.

1. We confuse the three M's (message, method, movement). Step 1: Know your message (your call to action, your point, your purpose). Step 2: Define what you want to happen (the movement) as a result of your message being heard/seen/experienced (i.e., attendance, action, feeling). Step 3: Determine the best method to connect the message with the movement. Remember, the method is the bridge.

Do not get these out of order. If the method comes first (as if often does), what we get, for example, is a really cool Web site that doesn't do anything except look cool. If the movement comes first, we end up with a bunch of people but no purpose for their assembly.

2. We copy others' methods. Just because it works for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you. It goes back to knowing the three M's and approaching them in the right order. It's no wonder the church has taken a back seat to innovation and originality. We just look at what everyone else is doing and tweak it for us. When we let the method come last, we'll start to see new methods develop because we'll come up with things that have never been done before—all because we care more about the message and the movement from that message than we do about the method itself.

3. We assume people get it. Don't assume people understand what you're trying to communicate. The only thing safe to assume is that no one heard you, no one understood and no one got it. Now what?

4. We speak church-iberish. Use real people words. Don't create your own vocabulary or try and reinvent the language wheel.

5. We underestimate our boringness. From the way we communicate to what we have to communicate, we often come across a lot more boring than we think.

6. We choose the easiest/cheapest method vs. the right method. If you can't afford to do it right, don't do it all. It would be better for you to save some money on a few projects so you can do the right projects well.

7. We assume we're credible. Don't assume that people want to hear what you have to say or that they will even care what you have to say. The audience is a privilege, not a right.

8. We forget to develop a plan and how to measure it. If you don't know where you're going or what you're attempting to do, how will you ever know when you arrive?

9. We forget the rule about "Fast. Good. Cheap." You can pick only two—you can't have all three!

Brad Abare is the director of communications for the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, founder of the Center for Church Communication and president of Personality, a communication and marketing consultancy.

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?

  • 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 ...

  • 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.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Don't bring your sermons in for a crash landing.

    4 Terrible Ways to Close a Sermon

    People need an opportunity to respond to the Word of God.

  • Pastors and ministry leaders should be bold in preaching against the murder of unborn babies.

    Kingdom Influence: A Challenge to Young Pastors and Leaders

    Jentezen Franklin urges ministry leaders to be strong and courageous in dealing with these issues ...

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