I’m a strong believer in the idea that what gets celebrated gets replicated. As church leaders, we understand the goal of ministry. We know the kind of spiritual growth we’re trying to cultivate in the life of every single person who walks through our doors. But what about the people in the pews? Do they understand what success looks like when it comes to growing in their discipleship journey?
When people don’t know what a growing, healthy ministry is supposed to look like, it becomes very difficult for them to see any progress beyond growth in attendance numbers. However, when you take the time to define and celebrate milestones, it gives church members a clear understanding of what success looks like. And oftentimes, those milestones repeat themselves.
- Giving — This can be a difficult subject to discuss from the pulpit. However, communicating the impact people are making for the Kingdom by giving their resources is essential for creating a culture of generosity in your church.
- Serving — Celebrating the volunteers who spend their time pouring into the lives of others is a great way to show people who aren’t actively serving about the difference they can make by using their time, talents, and abilities for the Kingdom.
- Connecting — Inspiring people to go beyond a consumer mindset and go deeper with your church requires you to share the benefits of being in community. Highlighting stories from small groups helps create a sense of belonging that is hard to resist.
- Inviting — This is one of the simplest things you can do if you want your church to grow. When is the last time you celebrated the idea of inviting an unchurched family? Talk about how many first-time guests your church has reached over the past year. Share testimonies of people who joined your church because someone invited them ... and allow those people to share what it was like to invite someone.
- Leading — Creating a culture of equipping the saints requires celebrating people who get what it means to ‘be the ministry’ of the church. These are the people who really get it. While we don’t want to create an ‘inner circle’ mentality, taking the time to highlight the stories of people who are actively involved in Kingdom-building work even though they would be considered a layperson in the church is a powerful way to communicate what it means to live a life that glorifies God.
So, how do we create a culture of celebration to replicate the kind of Kingdom-building actions that are happening in your church? Here are some key questions to ask yourself:
- "What do we want to replicate in our culture/people?" The first step in creating a culture of multiplication is deciding what you want to multiply. Take some time to think about your church’s original mission and cultural values. Who are you trying to reach? What makes your church different? These questions will help you define what milestones you want to replicate.
- "How will we make sure we’re noticing the things we want to replicate?" If we don’t notice it, we can’t celebrate it, and if we can’t celebrate it, it won’t replicate. Having the right processes and systems for monitoring your church’s progress is essential for success. This is one reason I’m so excited about the ministry dashboards we’re rolling out at Church Community Builder. It’s an opportunity for church leaders to be able to measure those milestones at a glance.
- "How will we celebrate it?" Identifying growth isn’t enough; you need to be intentional in how you celebrate it. It could be something as simple as providing personal encouragement to a church member or sharing stories from stage, on social media, or in the weekly email. However you decide to celebrate depends on the culture of your church, but it’s something you should decide beforehand.
I’d love to know: What are some milestones your church celebrates? How do you celebrate them?