One of the biggest hindrances to effective ministry is a failure to operate intentionally. Many churches choose to live in the comfort zone of a rut. But as someone once told me, “a rut is simply a grave with both ends knocked out.” While it is difficult, we must be willing to operate intentionally. Here are three ways that will help.
1- Know Your Purpose, then Pursue It.
If your church is going to operate in an intentional manner it must understand and embrace its God-given purpose. Know what your strategy is, talk about, and then plan to accomplish it.
Simply going through the motions of ministry will not help you actively pursue and accomplish your purpose. If there is a ministry or program that is not helping your church accomplish its purpose, either change it or get rid of it. Yes, making those decisions can be difficult, but they are necessary – especially if you are serious about pursuing God’s purpose for your church.
2- Love the Future More than You Love the Past.
When a church loves the past more than it loves the future it will be tempted to simply go through the motions of what has been done in the past with no thought given as to why.
In this atmosphere people are resistant to any kind of change. The question is not ‘will this help us reach people for Christ?’ but ‘is this different?’
Unless these churches change their mentality, they will eventually die. It is impossible to reach people in the present and strategize for the future when you are idolizing the past.
3- Be Willing to Honestly Evaluate the Effectiveness of Everything Your Church Does.
Over time, programs and ministries tend to lose their vibrancy and effectiveness. Often these programs are allowed to continue for years even though they are not doing what they were designed to do. They are not necessarily bad, but they are not the best way to accomplish their intended purpose.
If there is a more effective way of accomplishing a goal, failure to do so is unwise and would make us poor stewards of the time, energy, and resources God has given us.
Let’s face it, there are many things churches do, not because it is effective, but because it is comfortable. We must resist the tendency to operate in this way.
While it can be challenging, churches must operate intentionally. Know your purpose, be committed to reaching people, and honestly evaluate everything you are doing. Understanding these three points will help your church operate more intentionally.
What have you found that helps your church operate intentionally? Please comment below.