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Steps Out of Stagnation – Step 4: Gathering Insights

Moving a group of people from one place to another requires a certain set of leadership skills, one of which is understanding and implementing the Transformational Cycle. If you will lead the church to experiment with new ideas, concepts and designs, with each improvement you will likely gain new people. Remaining “stuck” in the stagnated waters of past practices that have grown dull and stale with use is not something a transformational leader can allow. On the other hand,

moving the congregation forward faster than they can move will only end in frustration and anger.

I like the acrostic: CANEI (Constant and Never-Ending Improvement).Buildings and programs tend to deteriorate with time and people grow comfortable and content; your task as the leader is to point to the needed improvements (vision) and begin making the case for change. The Insights step of the Transformational Cycle will give you clarity about what those improvements should look like.

  1. Look and see what is working and what is not working. Pay attention to your outreach ministries; which one(s) actually bring new people through the door of your church? Which ones are mostly “sound and fury;” a lot of lights and action (and money), but no one is returning to become part of the congregation? With each experiment in outreach, you gain insights to help you be more effective in the next experiment. End the programs that are absorbing energy and talent, but are not Great Commission oriented.

  2. Listen and hear what people are saying. Are they energized when talking about the latest program? Or are they not discussing it at all? What improvements have they thought of that could make it a stronger ministry? Try not to be defensive if they are critical; hear their heart.

  3. Read and observe current practices of other churches. No one wants to be a duplicate of another ministry, but your version of their idea could produce results unique to your setting.

Whatever else you do, do not let discouragement keep you from continuing to experiment and improve; get up, dust yourself off, and try again. Make sure your vision (revelation) is from the Father, ask Him for encouragement and ideas, and learn from the insights you gained in the process.

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