No pastor intentionally sets out to destroy their vision for ministry. However, we all know that every church is susceptible to potential risks that could impact their ability to influence their communities and reach people for the Kingdom.
A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to sit down with Deborah Ike as part of our ongoing webinar series. Today, I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of the most valuable ideas Deborah shared throughout the webinar.
10 practical ways to protect your vision for ministry
Here are 10 practical ways you can protect your vision from some of the most common risks that derail churches today:
- Develop a policy that clearly defines expectations and guardrails for your staff and volunteers. Sexual sin, abuse, or misconduct is one of the most common ways a church leader can destroy their ministry. While nothing can fully eliminate this risk, a clear plan, if followed and enforced, can protect everyone in your ministry from the consequences of crossing sexual lines.
- Create transparency by communicating how funds are used in the church. A loss of trust leads to a lack of giving. People want to invest their money in organizations they trust. When trust is violated, people will struggle with offering their financial support.
- Create action plans for real-world scenarios where the security of your church members may be compromised. The events we’ve seen take place in churches over the past year are horrific. As church leaders, we need to be proactive about putting plans in place to protect our congregation if something were to ever happen in our churches.
- Create a personal accountability system to protect yourself from a moral failure and encourage other staff members to do the same. Personal moral failure could be anything from an actual affair and physical abuse to an abusive leadership style and lack of self-control.Remember, your staff and volunteers will follow the example you set.
- Develop a communications and social media policy for your church. A negative perception formed from a social media crisis or inaccurate or sensationalistic journalism could destroy your church’s reputation.
- Conduct regular job evaluations and provide (and ask for) feedback. Staff members aren’t sure what they have authority to decide on their own, nor do they know really what is expected of them. This can lead to a serious amount of confusion and frustration along with poor decisions made due to a lack of direction.
- Know your volunteers. This goes even beyond background checks and includes taking the appropriate discovery methods to learn how they might best serve in your ministry.
- Define your succession plan and processes for every role. This isn’t morbid or pessimistic; it is a reality that must be addressed. Without a plan for replacing key leaders in your ministry, the momentum of your ministry could stall or fail.
- Protect your data with off-site backup. The financial information of your church members could be stolen without the proper protection. Your church could also lose valuable information and insights to help you increase generosity. A simple crash without a backup could reset your data tracking and make it hard to make decisions based on historical trends.
- Conduct a facility audit. Properly maintaining your facilities is often a process that is overlooked. Having a plan is part of being good a steward of the resources God has provided your church.
If you want to learn more about how you can proactively protect your church from the risks that could destroy your ministry potential, you can watch the entire webinar here.
What are some other ways you proactively protect your vision for ministry?