Witnessing a growth in membership numbers is probably one of the most exciting things a church leader can witness over the course of their career. Having a role in the building of the Kingdom – what could be better?
Of course, as numbers (and probably financial resources) grow, it's natural to desire to add more programming or ministries to continue to engage your congregation. Among the many struggles church leaders may face as their churches grow in size, the tendency to lean toward doing more is common. Launching a new program or ministry is great, but before you do it, make sure you walk through these questions first.
1. Do you have the appropriate church staff support?
Starting a new program at your church can bring a lot of excitement, as it is often a sign of growth and forward movement for you and your congregation.
Before launching a new church program, make sure you have the staff to support it.
Not only will you need the appropriate materials, but also the appropriate amount of church staff members (and volunteers!) to see it through. Make sure you aren't placing the responsibility of this new venture on a staff member who already has too much on their work plate. Unfortunately we often see that the most loyal and hardworking team members are the ones that get the biggest workload, which, of course, can quickly lead to burnout. Protect your team and the foreseeable success of the program by making sure you have the appropriate amount of support.
2. Have you planned out all of the details?
When something new and exciting is coming around the bend, it is so easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm of it all that many crucial details can slip through the cracks. Of course you’ve figured out who is going to be in charge, what night of the week it’s going to be on, and what audience you are targeting. However, have you assigned specific tasks to each team member that will be helping? Have you figured out a plan of action to accommodate everyone if attendance completely exceeds your expectations on the first night? Making sure you’ve crossed all of your T’s and dotted all of the I’s is an important step to success.
3. What will you do if it is not as successful as planned?
This is a dreaded but important question. Obviously, we never want to think or assume a new ministry is going to fail, but unfortunately sometimes they do.
Having a plan for how a potential failure will be handled is a sign of good leadership.
Think through how an unsuccessful new ministry initiative may appear to your church congregation. Will they be understanding? Will they be upset? How will your church staff respond? Think through all of the potential scenarios and plan how you’ll respond to each. Every good leader knows that defeat is often a critical step to growth and success, and it won’t be the unsuccessful program that everyone remembers, but how the failure is handled. Fail with humility and grace.
What are some other questions church leaders should consider before introducing a new program?