Ministry isn’t typically a place where people keep score—but it is a place where we want a win. In the next three chapters of 7 Practices of Effective Ministry, pastor Ray learns that you need to be focused and strategic; and he soon discovers that the age-old adage is true—less is more.
Stating the Obvious
The second practice is a difficult one for churches to swallow—Think Steps, Not Programs. We’ve been taught that the church should be everything to everyone, and so we pile on programs, services, and opportunities—becoming the “one-stop shop” for people in our communities. And even though we may have a lot of people walking through our doors, it doesn’t mean we’re being effective.
When we give people a vision for a clear win, it won’t reach its potential unless we provide a clear vision. In simple terms, a ministry’s “clear win” needs to be easy, obvious and strategic. We don’t want to steer people in the wrong direction and we want to be strategic in how to help people reach our “win.”
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Baseball players are focused; if they take their eyes off the ball, they could get hurt, make an error, or lose the game. Practice #3: Narrow the Focus. Simply put—how can you ruin your ministry? By trying to make it something it’s not meant to be. Keeping a tight focus on your win will help you stay on track to reach your goal.
No one appreciates when they get that nasty “error” message on their computer or the “circle of death” on your iPhone. These symbolic messages are usually a result of too much information trying to download to your device. It may take more time than anticipated to receive the information or, worse yet, the circle may spin into infinity.
Practice #4: Teach Less for More. This can be a difficult one for those who like to provide people with every bit of knowledge personally bestowed upon them. But it’s a relief to many who are pressured to provide answers and programs for everyone at church when they’re given permission to keep it simple. When we stay aligned with our mission—our win—it becomes a lot easier to lead.
The Orange Connection
Orange’s #1 Essential is to Integrate Strategy. When parents and leaders lead with the same end in mind, you’ll see a “clear win.” Combining two strong influences (home and church) in the lives of children and students, partnering together to help young people discover and grow in a relationship with Jesus, will have the greatest impact on the future of the next generation.
Think on This
How can you clearly communicate your strategy to families in your ministry? How can you be better at “narrowing your focus?” What do you need to do better or change so you can successfully “Teach Less for More?”