Four Keys of a Successful Church Health Process
Refocus. Revision. Revitalization. Church Health. Strengthening Local Churches. Church Fitness. Effective Church. Natural Church Development.
The descriptions are many, the goals supposedly the same. Many churches want to do a better job of “doing church.” I have led the church health and church planting ministry of two denominations and worked with dozens more. I’ve worked with thousands of church leaders. In one denomination, there were over a dozen different approaches to evaluating and improving churches. The options are many, yet many churches still struggle.
Here are four keys that make all the difference as you consider how to approach helping your church be healthy and fruitful.
1. It’s not about the profile, it’s about the process. As we noted, there are many kinds of profiles that give you some kind of score in regard to how your church measures up according to the measurements of that particular profile. Capturing scores on a profile is necessary, but not sufficient.
A profile is only the prelude to the process. A good process will take you on a journey that will last a year or so. Commit to a process, not just a profile.
2. Empower a team…let leaders lead. A team of leaders who have both responsibility and authority to discern what the profile is saying and develop action steps to address the issues is essential. If a team works hard but in the end can be undercut by other leaders, the entire process is dead and the leaders devalued. Good communication with other leaders in the church is essential. Strong support by the senior pastor and other regional leaders emphasize the importance of the process. Make sure you have a team of intercessors alongside the process team.
3. Get a coach. Even in the best of scenarios, it is normal for teams to get stuck in the process…or distracted…or face unexpected opposition. A coach can walk with you, helping you address issues and keep you moving forward. Coaches are at their best when they don’t direct a team but listen and ask so a team can decide a clear goal, describe reality, develop options, and determine action steps that they discover for themselves. A coach can make all the difference!
4. Make the process part of the rhythm of your church life. A great process will give churches a chance to celebrate their strengths, focus on particular needs, and keep the main thing the main thing--making disciples who make disciples. Churches who go through this kind of process every 18-24 months find greater results than those who only do it once.
No matter what kind of profile you may choose, make sure these four keys inform the process. You’ll be glad you do.
Coach Yourself Forward
1. Think of a time when you went through some kind of evaluation that wasn’t helpful. What were the reasons from your perspective that it didn’t work well?
2. Think of a time when you went some kind of evaluation that was helpful. What made it beneficial?
3. As you read our four keys, what was most important for you? What might you add?