I’ve heard many pastors say some variation of the sentence above, and I am always happy when they reach this conclusion.
When it comes to churches — or any organization for that matter — it is hard to read our own label when we are inside of our own bottles. That’s why it is fundamental to uncover your voice. Photo Credit: Ken Rowland
You have a special place in your community. If you didn’t, God wouldn’t have placed yet another church in the same town. And I know you have a vision and a mission statement. I know it will most likely be inspired by a scripture or two that God placed in your heart, but it can’t end there.
The question that paralyzes most though is: “Where do I start?”
So, let’s get to action!
Step #1: Grab a piece of paper.
I mean it. Go get it. I won’t go anywhere.
Now write down the key stakeholders at your church. Who are the decision makers? Who are the key leaders? Don’t overthink this one. You don’t need every lay leader involved, and if you are a small church, two people is more than sufficient to bounce ideas off of.
The list will most likely coincide with the people in your staff meetings. I would not recommend leaving the lead pastor out though. Just sayin’.
Step #2: Schedule a few meetings.
Once you have that, see if you can secure a few meetings on the calendar. If it’s hard to align your calendars, it may be a good idea to meet before or after staff meetings.
STEP #3: Brainstorm.
The goal here is not to find the right answers but to think together, to ask yourselves questions you may have not asked before. And maybe even ask questions you have answered before. A long time ago or when you first planted the church.
This first session is all about you. Your church. Your DNA. Your story.
Yes, I’m giving you permission to be self-centered. To think internally. To brag about you. Dig deep and remember what got you started in the first place.
Here are some of the questions we ask pastors during the first discovery session:
Describe your church for someone that knows nothing about you.
What is your story?
What core words define your church?
What do you do very well?
What opportunities do you see currently in your neighborhood/town?
What makes you unique?
This should get you started. More coming soon on Part 2 of this article.
And if you need help, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll personally explain the process to you and gladly run your church through our discovery process.
What you will uncover may surprise you!
Barbara Carneiro is the owner ofWord Revolution(a communication agency for Christian ministries) and the brain behind4:12 Lab(a training program for church communication). She is a disciple, Christ follower, forever curious strategist, speaker, storyteller and geek. You’ll make her happy with a white chocolate mocha.