Begin your 2021 Ministry Planning NOW
We have talked a little bit about the holiday season, and the challenges of them. One of the things I've noticed in the last few days, is my inbox is just full of emails, with people who are challenging me in the preparation for this next year.
Assessing, It Is Important
Of course, this time, it is quite busy, but I think it is important that we begin to think about our strategies for ministry, and the strategy for the local church. As we look toward the coming year, which will be a different one from others before this one. Some of these include:
- Mainly, the most important part: doing some assessment.
- Do some stepping back and critically look at what you are doing as a church
- Because there are a few things that we do relatively well, there are a number of things that we're not strong with at all, just yet. Then there are things that simply can't be resolved at the moment, so there's not much use in us wasting time assessment thinking about trying to attempt something that simply cannot be accomplished with the resources that are available. Prioritize those good things.
Important Questions About Your Visitors
I often think about it like this:
- Does the church have an ample number of first-time visitors?
- What percentage of those first-time visitors come back for a second visit?
- Another that I ponder then comes into play, of the people who are visiting the church to what degree do we win some of those, and convert them so they have a born-again experience?
- Are are baptized in Jesus name? Do they receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit?
- Finally, a great point of assessment is, to what degree are we retaining those who we make converts for Jesus Christ?
For each of those, when you make the assessment there is a response. If you don't have any visitors, then there is a way to increase your visitor count. Host a special event(s), perhaps with a harvest evangelist coming, in or a prospect evangelists coming in. It can be any number of things. Then, if the issue is okay, we have people come but no ever comes for the second time. Well, it's obvious they did not enjoy the experience while they were there. That generally is our fault, because Jesus is an enjoyable experience.
What Not to Do
- Do not be mean.
- Do not be vicious.
- Do not present the gospel in a negative way.
- Do not lay out the church's dirty laundry every time that somebody shows up.
- Do not take the person who is visiting, (whatever we perceive as being their life challenges, or their sin), and make that the target for your preaching.
If we do such thigs, it is very unlikely that many, or any of them will come back.
A Starter Plan for 2021
You have to give the Holy Spirit of time to work. You have to have God. You've got a chance to do what only God can do, and then if we're not making converts, are we preaching to them? And then, if we are converting people but we're not keeping them, what about our disciple making process? Do we have a strategy? Is an intentional behavior? Is it consistent? Is it constant?
All of these things are practical. They're pragmatic, and they can be worked on. As you begin 2021, begin to look toward 2020. I want to encourage you to begin thinking about establishing systems, sustainable systems, and sustainable habits, if you please. This will help you, and your local church to accomplish grand things for God in the coming year. I hope you have a great week, may the blessings of God be upon you!
This blog was written as an inspiration from a previous Ministry Monday video. To watch the complete video, find it here.
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