Throughout my career I’ve been a passionate member of both the church and business sector. While the idea often gets met with resistance, I see great value in what church leaders can learn from business leaders about operating organizations. After all, all ‘truth’ is God’s truth, whether we are talking about churches, businesses, or any organization.
‘Look not only to your instincts, but also to your data’
There are some important questions business leaders ask that could really benefit church leaders. Here are just a few:
- What are we measuring, and how is it helping us move forward? When you use a combination of data, intuition, and the Holy Spirit, your decisions have a much higher success rate. However, I often see churches discount data as ‘impersonal’. Others have no idea how to find the data they need to inform their decisions even if they want to. To be successful here, you first have to agree that real data matters. That decision will then drive how you end up using tools like Church Community Builder to collect and disseminate the information that helps you assess your progress.
- How do our processes foster deeper relationships with those we serve? We can be so excited to see a new person walk through the door that we overwhelm them. Focusing on relationship first, before pushing them toward the new members class or open volunteer positions list, helps a visitor know that the value they add to your community is their presence, not their service. Of course we want them to get involved, but we have to resist the urge to start there.
- What makes us unique? Too often, we look around and compare ourselves to other churches, and shift our focus because of what we see. This causes us to lose our original narrative in the process. Your community doesn’t need another church just like the one down the road. Focus on your unique calling. Can someone read your mission statement and get a clear picture of what makes you different? Conduct a full review of ministry areas and determine how they’re focused on helping the church as a whole reach its vision.
Asking these three questions is a great starting place to begin the journey of making strategic decisions rather than just going with what ‘feels’ right.
Has your church begun to make strategic decisions based on data, best practices, and your unique calling?