Steps You Must Take To Be An Effective Church Leader
When my daughter was about four years old, I would take her out on date nights. She used to have a book of mazes that she would entertain herself with, and I always taught her that she could solve any maze the first time, every time, by using one simple trick.
Do you know what that simple trick is?
Start at the end and work backwards towards your starting point.
Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has a great piece of advice for all Pastors; start with the end in mind. When you find yourself struggling with the people in your church taking action, remember to start with a clear vision about what the end goal looks like.
Why The People In Your Church Don't Take Action
I've worked a lot with John Maxwell many times in the past, and one of his big ideas is very relevant to this topic. When there's a problem in your organization; you're it.
That may feel a little harsh, but if you can't find ways to take responsibility for things, then you can't affect a different outcome. The reason the people in our churches don't take action is because we may not be doing something accurately. While that might not always be true in every case, we can all be doing more to lead our people effectively.
Be An Effective Leader; Start At The End
It doesn't matter what your goals are for your organization. Perhaps you'd like more of your people to volunteer more of their time. Or, maybe you'd like to see your organization grow through personal invitations. One of the best ways that you can lead effectively is to know what your end goal looks like. When you know what it looks like, you can create a clear call-to-action so that your people can follow your directions. Whether you want people to give, serve, or invite their friends; you've got to get really specific about what your end goal looks like. To help you envision this concept, we'll use an example based on giving and being generous.
We'll take an example out of Andy Stanley's playbook from our annual Be Rich campaign. During that campaign, he asks people to give a one-time gift of $39.95. Now, that's not a lot of money, and most people in our churches can afford to give $39.95 at least one time. When you're asking for monetary gifts, you have to go digital and automate.
You have automate things that are important to you.
Going digital with your goals makes it easy for people to automate giving. Pastors, in this modern world, you have to automate things that are important to you. So, create a webpage on your website for your goal. In our example, we'll create a simple webpage where people can enter their financial information to give a one-time gift of $39.95. Then, we'll give them an option to make that gift recur monthly.
Unfortunately, you can't automate the act of passing around the collection bucket. No one deals with bucket-friendly currency anymore. You, as a modern Pastor, have to go online. However, even if it's easy for you to get a working webpage up on your website, how do you get people to go there?
As a Leader Shift Your Mindset To Inspire Action
As a Pastor, you have to tell your people what their next step needs to be. On average, only about 50% of church attendees give regularly. In order to be an effective leader, you need to reach those people. They come every week, and never give. Because of that, they're missing out on a huge benefit of being a Christian. Generosity is one of the best parts of Christianity. When a person is generous, they're doing something good for themselves and others. You have to help them see that being generous will help them in their own lives.
There are really only two decisions people have to make about being generous. First, they have to make the conscious decision to give and be generous. Then, they have to decide where they want to give their gift. You want them to be generous at your church. To do that, you have to sell them on the idea that their generosity will have a huge impact when they give to your organization. You have to show them what the end goal looks like and how their lives will be enriched by helping your church survive.
You Must Have A Strategy For Your Church Goals
When you look at your grand church vision, what you're really seeing is a combination of all the goals you have for your church. In order to have an effective strategy, you have to know what those goals are specifically. Fortunately, you know your people in your church well, and you know where they are every week. That means that you've got the start and the end of your strategy already in your head. You just have to connect the end of the maze to the beginning.
This can't be said enough: Write your strategy down!
When you have a written strategy, you're able to go over it again and again with your internal church-building team. One of the biggest keys to success at this point in the game is repetition, repetition, repetition. Having a written strategy will help you really hammer out the details to make a great plan for accomplishing your church goals. You'll know what you need to do, when it needs to be done, and you'll keep a clear view of the end goal the entire time.
Having a written strategy will also help you share your plan with your team. Ask the people of your church to start a journey of being generous. Help them see where they can create margins within their own lives so that they can give and continue to be generous. Your strategy has to get people to come back again and again. Not only must you reach people who haven't given before, but you have to ask your faithful to stretch just a bit further by giving more than they already do. Having a strong strategy in place will help you be successful in these sometimes difficult endeavors.
Set Financial Goals For Your Church
It may feel weird to put goals and numbers around giving. The best advice I have for you on setting financial goals for your church is this: Get over it.
We want our churches to be successful and thrive for generations to come. That means that we need to know if we're winning. Asking people to give to your church without having a solid goal strategy is like playing football without end zones or goal posts. It just wouldn't be the same game. In the church boardroom, the discussion is about goals. On stage in front of your people, the discussion is about vision. It's your job to be an effective leader both within the inner workings of your organization and while you stand before your congregation. So, make it a point to set clear financial goals for your organization.
How To Set Goals For Your Church
In order to achieve your goals, you need to set the structure and framework of your plan. That way, you can map out the actions you want your people to take. An easy way to evaluate your goals is to use the SMART method. Ask yourself these questions about your goal:
Is it specific?
Is it measurable?
Is it attainable?
Is it realistic?
Is it time-bound?
In our giving example, we want people to give a monetary gift of $39.95 at least once, and then ask them to make the gift monthly. While we have a specific amount, the goal can still use refining. To define it further, we can say that we want a certain amount of people to give $39.95 each by a certain date. Then, out of those people, we want a certain number of them to sign up to give reoccurring gifts monthly by another certain date.
When you define your goal in these terms, you'll be able to have a plan to work off of. This will make it easier for you to lead your people effectively towards accomplishing the church goals. When you have a strong plan, you can begin calling your people to action.
Share Your Message To Reach Your Church Goals
We need to turn the tide as Pastors. Our mindset needs to shift about how we are asking people to give, when we're asking them to give, and where we're asking them to give. Then, we need to leverage online platforms to get them to do what we need them to do.
There are may ways to get people to visit your webpage for your goal. In our giving example, we could have our people click a button on our website. Or, we could have them click a link in an email that we send out to them. When making a link to your goal webpage, make sure it's easy to remember and recite. Put it up on screen during your talks and ask people to visit the page during collection time. There are many ways that you can spread your message, especially if you utilize social media. Remember, if you aren't comfortable using technology, find someone who is to do it for the church. There are many people who know how to spread your message. Find them within your congregation, invite them onto your church-building team, and spread your message.
Be An Effective Church Leader
If people in your church are not taking action, they're not taking action because you, as their Pastor, are not being specific enough about what the next step is. If you're not having success, chances are there's a gap in one of your processes to make things happen. A strong strategy, clear end goals, and direct communication will help you fill this gap and achieve your vision for the people of your church.
Upcoming Training Corps!
Jerry Lawson and myself, Richard chancy, are gearing up for our next Training Corps. We'll be focusing on Millennials. So far, we've got a working title; The Lost Generation; 8 Shocking Reasons The Church Has Lost Millennials And How To Win Them Back.
To help make this Training Corps as valuable as possible, we'd like to know what some of your best ideas are for re-engaging Millennials. It's estimated that 87% of Millennials say that the Bible and Jesus have no relevance to their everyday life. If we can't figure out how to reach these people, there's going to be a gap in church attendance that lasts for a long, long time. So we want to know; what's the best thing happening in your church right now related to engaging people in their early twenties to early thirties? Send us an email or post your ideas and struggles with Millennials on our Facebook page. Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming Training Corps.