March 13, 2018

You Can’t Do It All...

Congregations often want to be all things to all people, jumping on every new idea without considering whether it supports the congregation’s mission to the community. The ideas may be good individually, but how do they align with the congregation’s mission and ministry? When a congregation fragments its mission, it is a recipe for failure.

Another common pitfall is encountered when a project is continued, simply because “it has always been done.” These projects lack support among the congregation and may even have lost their original purpose and intent, making it difficult to find enthusiastic participants. When a congregation can let go of something that has lost its usefulness, it opens itself up to new ideas and opportunities, giving new life and energy to the congregational system. How do you decide what to let go of and what to keep?

Although a congregation may have the Gospel message at its core, how that imperative is shown to the world is different in every congregation. There is no one way to share the Gospel, and each congregation needs to adapt its mission to its particular context. Ask the congregation: What do you think we do well? How do we experience God? What brings this community new life and energy? The answers to these questions, tailored to each community, help to define that community’s core values and strengths. This process allows leadership to understand how the Spirit is moving in their community and where the focus needs to be. When congregations can name their core values, can name their strengths, they have taken their first step toward new vitality.

Just as core training is essential to building a strong body, a congregation must identify and focus on its core mission, one that follows God’s calling with joy and enthusiasm, one that invites others to join in sharing the Gospel message through mission and ministry. This is the beginning of the Strategic Thinking process that leads to mission driven, adaptable goals, and starts your congregation on the path to new life and vitality. Where is God calling your congregation? Look to ECF to help you with the process.