This article was written by state missionary Ken Allen.
We as church leaders often go from conference to conference learning about church health/revitalization. However, all too often the information gleaned doesn’t seem to get transferred when we are back in the real world of church life. How can we make the mission of the church happen? Let’s take a few moments and look at some ways to turn strategy into action with results.
1. Collaborate with church leaders/members.
A great leader knows that he needs people around him to accomplish a God-sized task. Once you have assembled a team, ask: What are we to do? (Mission); Why are we to do it? (Values); How are we to do it? (Strategy); and Are we making progress and making a difference? (Goals). Be aware of truly listening to others and remember to accomplish biblical mission and not your own personal agenda.
2. Get to current reality as part of the process of leading change.
Start with genuine prayer. Lead your congregation to connect with God. Here are a few tools that can help: Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King, Come to the Lord’s Table by Claude King, and Forty Days of Seeking God by Gregory Reed Frizzell. Lead only one major change per year. Create an atmosphere or thirst for change by prayerfully discovering easy wins. Just start with one thing that your leaders see as obvious. Build on the best you are already doing and refocus around biblical mission.
3. Discover members who use processes/strategy at work or in the past.
I call them implementors. They are people who have a history of getting an assigned task accomplished.
4. Map out a pathway forward.
What are the action steps to get the strategy to happen? What are the mile markers that will show that you are making progress toward fulfilling the strategy?
5. Develop leaders over the long haul.
Develop or implement a simple disciple making process. Here is the pathway to know if leaders are progressing:
1. Lead self (personal spiritual disciplines)
2. Lead others (family and others)
3. Lead leaders
4. Lead a ministry area
5. Lead the church
6. Lead churches (beyond the local church into Kingdom ministry).
Making strategy happen means you do not despise small beginnings. You keep the boulder moving forward. Change takes time — just keep going! Enlist someone from outside the church to keep you accountable and on task.