There are many church consultants today. Each promises revitalization and rapid growth. Renowned pastors publish articles and books giving advice from their experiences turning small congregations into thriving megachurches. Conferences feature speakers and promise ideas sure to intrigue and excite any pastor whose congregation is not growing – which applies to an astounding 93% of America’s churches.
With all that information at your disposal, who should you listen to?
It also begs the question – with all that advice available how can such a high percentage of churches not be growing? At Meet The Need we believe it’s because nearly all of the consultants, articles, books and conferences are working under and perpetuating essentially the same fundamentally flawed assumption.
Given that the Church grew at a rapid clip for 1900 years, why has growth ground to a halt in recent decades? Something foundational has changed. We believe we know what that is.
In fact, a number of leading church advisors believe Meet The Need has come up with the “root cause” for why such a large majority of churches in America are in decline in terms of not only growth, but also in impact, influence and public perception. We contend that the church in America has gradually adopted an unbiblical and detrimental baseline assumption – one which has caused the demise of countless organizations of many different types.
This workbook will:
- dive deep into that “root cause” issue and explain how the prevailing church growth models won’t produce what they promise – at least not healthy growth
- be instrumental as a guide for your strategic planning exercises
- move your church’s leadership team quickly and productively through on-site or off-site planning sessions
- allow for rapid planning (e.g. a 2 day off-site) or more extended strategic planning efforts
- help your executive team analyze where your church is now, envision where the Lord wants you to go, and then plot the path to get there
- give you a roadmap to take you through the transformation process from your current state to your desired future state
- provide suggestions yet enable your team to come up with its own plan based on a common, shared set of guiding principles
- facilitate buy-in to the changes, increasing the likelihood of successful implementation
- focus on translating knowledge into action, not leaving you with just strategy
What to Expect
This Workbook is an exercise in self-discovery. You may be surprised by some of the realizations you make about your pastors, staff and members. Meet The Need questions the underlying model for how most churches are run today, believing they don’t align with Biblical mandates, the early church or the best practices of successful organizations of any kind. Therefore, be open to an entirely new way of thinking about your role in leadership, the role of members, and the church’s role with those outside the “4 walls”. Without openness to change, strategic planning is unlikely to produce meaningful progress.
Some concepts that this Workbook asks you to consider will be challenging, but warrant honest, careful debate. For example:
- Is your church more oriented toward building an institution than building disciples?
- Are you fully leveraging the capabilities of your members or underutilizing the “power in your pews”, concerned about what would happen if you challenged them to live up to their full potential for Christ?
- Do your members and attenders act more like “consumers” of church than the living, breathing embodiment of church between Sundays?
- Are your actions and behaviors inadvertently feeding the perception that your church is not very interested in caring for the church’s intended “customer”?
The Workbook structures your strategic planning exercise around the following 15 modules, each addressing a different component of how leaders manage churches:
Part 1: ORGANIZATION
- Time Allocation
- Budget Allocation
- Role of Pastors Versus Members
- Expectations of Members
- Organizational Structure
Part 2: STRATEGIES
- Local Missions
Part 3: FRUIT/RESULTS
- Member Engagement/Service
- Impact on the World
- Influence in the Community
- Perception by the Community
- Success Metrics
The outline for each module consists of 4 sections:
- Topic Insights – Thoughts to frame discussions and reset thinking in preparation for step 2
- Current State – Assessment and scoring on our Proficiency Model
- Future State Vision – Ideas to help your leadership develop your church’s go-forward strategy
- Gap Analysis – High level recommendations and detailed implementation planning
The Workbook utilizes an interactive approach – starting with readings and then presenting questions to facilitate open discussion on your end. Unless pastors, key staff, deacons and elders each believe they’ve been given an opportunity to draw their own conclusions and provide input, your likelihood of success dissipates. We make recommendations based on our work with thousands of churches but we believe you are well qualified to develop specific action steps for your church. Only you fully understand the vision the Lord gave you, the people He has led to you, and the community where He planted your church.