By Donald Lynn Hardaway
In some situations, nothing short of a major overhaul is needed to stop a church from falling into further decline, but in many congregations simply knowing what to do this week, and every week, is enough to see the desired change in direction. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of vast, sweeping changes, smaller steps taken consistently over a long enough period of time can produce enough improvement to redirect a church.
Seven things any pastor can do this week (and every week) to begin:
Spend more time with the Father, asking Him to give you a “revelation” of His assessment for the congregation and its future.
Walk through your facilities, seeing and smelling them from a first time guest’s experience. Make a list of everything you see that needs to be improved. Choose two or three small tasks that can easily be accomplished this week – and either have someone do them, or do them yourself.
Build a personal connection with one potential new guest. Start a list of names of individuals you are intentionally moving toward visiting the church.
Spend extra time preparing the Sunday message to make it more interesting and compelling than last week’s message.
Strengthen your communication with one of the primary leaders in the congregation by taking them to lunch or coffee. Discuss what they see that needs to be done to make the church more welcoming to new guests.
Read two articles, or a chapter of a book, that address church health and growth and/or leadership skills.
Plan the worship services (and your messages) a few weeks – or months – ahead, giving thought to improving the quality of every part of the service.
A 1% improvement for 50 weeks means your services will be 50% better in a year!