Leading Turnaround Churches (Part 3)

To finish my series on ‘Leading Turnaround Churches’ (part 1part 2), we’re going to hit the final step of establishing a clear strategy within your guard rails toward your end goal as a church.

Once you’ve identified what your end goal is as a church and the guard rails you will be working within, you don’t want to stop there.  It’s very important to establish a clear strategy toward accomplishing that end goal.  The statement is true that says “The path toward failure is paved with good intentions.”  Don’t allow your church to be the one with a great vision but no action toward that vision. And for action to be effective you need a clear strategy in place.  For this strategy, it should have the following components:

  • It needs to be practical. Vision is established in faith, strategy should be grounded in reality.
  • It needs to be purposeful. Your strategy should always be working toward your end goal.
  • It needs to be powerful. Although strategy doesn’t sound too spiritual, it needs to be grounded in prayer and the power of God.

Once you understand the important components of a strategy, begin to establish the clear steps (strategy) toward accomplishing your end goal. These steps will be different for every church, but as you establish the strategy, ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I effectively engage my leaders in executing this strategy?
  • Is this strategy realistic considering my environment, resources and time-frame?
  • Will this strategy result in my end goal?

To maintain excellence, be sure to establish time-specific milestones throughout the implementation of your strategy. For example, if your goal is to reach young adults in your community, a milestone might be: ‘We want to see an average of 20 young adults in our Sunday service by the end of 2010’.  Establishing these time-specific milestones allows you to continually evaluate and re-evaluate your strategy in light of your end goal.

In closing, remember this about strategy…it will change. You should always be adapting your strategy to fit your setting.  What doesn’t change is your end goal, or vision.  This is your fixed point that helps you evaluate progress.

So in summary of the last three posts, leading turnaround churches can be difficult, but to do it effectively work to:

  1. Identify the specific reason your church exists. What is the end goal and how can I communicate that end goal in a memorable way?
  2. Be honest and identify the guard rails that are present in working toward this end goal. For the sake of my organization’s health and existence, what are the areas this vision cannot take me?
  3. Establish a clear strategy within your guard rails toward your end goal. Although your end goal might be clear, what are manageable steps your organization can take to get there?

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