Entrepreneurs are people who are willing to take bold action for the sake of something they believe in. They are not afraid to take risks or fail. This mindset is often avoided (even frowned upon) in the local church, and ministry impact and Kingdom growth are often minimized as a result. Being an entrepreneurial leader in the context of a local church means operating in the absence of the fear which keeps you from making bold decisions. It also means leveraging effective tools to help minimize your risk and make more informed ministry decisions.
A few weeks ago, Carey Nieuwhof wrote a thought-provoking and challenging post on why we need more entrepreneurial church leaders, not more shepherds. Carey’s post aligns nearly perfectly with our thinking at Church Community Builder.
So how can you approach ministry with an entrepreneurial perspective?
3 ways to become an entrepreneurial ministry leader
- Leverage your church management system to make better ministry decisions. Entrepreneurial pastors make decisions based on data and results. They don’t simply rely on their gut feelings. Are you using your church management system to help you make informed decisions, or are you just using it as a glorified rolodex?
- Focus on the metrics that move the needle. Here’s an example: simply focusing on getting new people in the door without measuring how well your church retains them gives a false sense of progress. Let’s not waste time and energy on getting new faces in pews if we aren’t making specific and measurable efforts to get them plugged in. Do you track the retention of first- and second-time visitors?
- Equip others to multiply your ministry reach. The word entrepreneur is rooted in the idea of organizing a group of people to build something bigger than themselves. That's not only a good idea for the local church, it’s a model of the way Jesus did ministry. It is challenging at times, but it’s worth it. Here’s one example of a church that is decentralizing its ministry efforts.
Moving from a ‘shepherding’ perspective to an ‘entrepreneurial’ perspective does not mean you lose sight of shepherding hearts and loving people. It simply means you zoom out and see the bigger picture.
Is your approach to ministry really moving the needle?