Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Clear Plan of Action to Fulfill Our Purpose

We need, then, to develop a scripturally sound plan of action to accomplish our purposes. These plans must be the result of prayer, thoughtful contemplation, careful planning and clear communication of the plans. We must follow up on these plans and evaluate them, tweak them, and be willing to drop them when they are no longer effective.

I suggest that each leader review the ministries of the church they serve and evaluate them according to the purpose for each ministry to discover how healthy the church is.

The following are the questions a church should ask in evaluating its health:

  • What do we do to Evangelize, both at home and worldwide? Are we taking the gospel to the lost, or hoping they will come to us? Do lost people attend our church? What ministries are succeeding at this calling and what ministries need to change or be discontinued?
  • How is our Fellowship? Are new people staying? Are we family-like, or business-like? What ministry is effectively meeting this need? How do we build unity?
  • Where in our programming are we training people to be like Christ - Not just “telling,” but “training” them? Are we making Disciples effectively?
  • Are we offering enough Ministry and Service opportunities? Are people using their gifts in ministry, or are we filling round holes with square pegs? Do we run programs that meet our needs, or do we run programs because other churches do them?
  • Do we live out personal sacrifice for the sake of Christ? Do we truly worship God, or do we just sing about it?

Answering these questions will help determine the health of any church. At least they will know why they are here, and can plan to accomplish what they were made to accomplish.

After we have evaluated where we are, we need to address where we are going. Do we plan to maintain the status quo or do we have a vision for the future?

To look into the future, we need to understand current trends both in society and in ministry - not “fads”, but the practices of our people. What are schedules like? What is happening in the job market? Where is our economy headed? What seems to draw people in to try a new place out? What makes people keep coming back to any one location (Restaurants, department stores, etc.)?

We should also be willing to create and discontinue ministries based on needs and effectiveness. If any ministry seems to be waning, we need to ask ourselves some tough questions:

  1. Why did we start this ministry?
  2. Is it still a necessary ministry for our community?
  3. If so, why is it faltering?
  4. What do we need to do to correct the problems?
  5. How will these changes affect the people involved?
  6. What can we do to cause the greatest improvement with the least offense?
  7. Can we do this with the resources we have at our disposal?
  8. What is our plan of action and timeline for these changes?

This process will help us come up with a clear plan of action to fulfill our purpose for every aspect of the church’s ministry. Every step of the way, we must be covering our process with prayer, scripture and patience. We do not want to try to fix spiritual issues with human solutions. The only power to change lives is found in Jesus Christ, not smooth planning and programming.

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