Not a particularly attractive word. Not really an encouraging definition either. Check this out: "...a settled or established habit or course of action, especially a boring one." There are many things I don’t want to be boring... my marriage, my job, my friends, my church! However, when we implement new habits and don’t continually re-evaluate their effectiveness, boring is where we end up.
Tony Morgan addresses this in the second installment of his Leisure Suit eBook series, How to Get Unstuck. I love Tony’s focus on processes and systems. He gets how important they are. He also realizes churches often develop processes but don’t know how to measure their effectiveness, letting them stagnate without even realizing it. The result is a rut.
We are enamored with processes at CCB. If we really want to impact a church, we have to help them maximize their processes. Our software is only part of the equation. The real work has to begin with the processes themselves. As we explore conversations with churches all over the globe, we see many have fallen into one or more of the following ruts.
- The Connections Rut. Churches often develop a good connections path but don’t have the right systems or tools to actually monitor where people really are. They hope people are moving forward. Many are taking steps, but, there are also people slipping through gaps we didn’t even know were there. Do you know where your “growth” gaps are?
- The Small Group Rut. A small group strategy is now almost a given in every church. It is a proven method of keeping a church intimate while it grows. Many small group-focused churches have no idea what percentage of their attenders are really showing up in their groups. They have names on a roster, but they aren’t counting the “faces”. The small group leaders often lack tools to connect between weekly gatherings and group “health” is therefore a mystery.
- The Event Rut. This one is BIG! Because we often equate busyness with significance, churches often go way overboard with events, mistaking activity for impact. Events must have purpose and measurable impact. If not, people stop coming. My friend and teammate Sean Buchanan blogged about this in July. It’s worth another look!
So let’s get real! What ruts has your church fallen into? Are you still there? If you got out of the rut, how did you do it?