Vision Room is one of my favorite new leadership resources. Pulling perspectives from both church and business leaders, the site provides a broad range of insights on topics like vision, communication, process, and culture. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly encourage you to subscribe today.
A few weeks ago, they shared a post from author and strategist Roger Martin which discussed the connection between uncertainty and strategy. In the post, Roger shared several fascinating takeaways from his discussions with CEOs and business leaders about how they faced the economic uncertainty most businesses are dealing with these days. Much of what Roger wrote resonated with me, especially since I had just published a post explaining why churches shouldn’t miss out on uncertain times. However, what stood out to me most from the post was the massive impact that uncertain times could have on the future of our churches.
Here’s what I realized:
By using uncertainty as an excuse to put off strategic decisions, you’re jeopardizing the future growth—and potentially the future existence—of your church.
You see, it’s easy to simply try to maintain the status quo during uncertain times. When we’re not sure what tomorrow might look like, we convince ourselves that it’s best to just keep doing what we’ve been doing until things turn around. However, as Roger points out, if we aren’t always focused on implementing a strategy to move ahead, it’s easy for the ideas we have and decisions we make to lead to no greater purpose.
As we’ve seen with thousands of churches that have seen better days, it’s this lack of coherence and streamlined strategy that leads to dwindling numbers and dying churches.
How do we stop uncertainty from killing our churches?
The first step is to stop making excuses and head directly toward the resistance. If we can embrace the fact that we’re doing ministry in an uncertain time, we can learn how to leverage it for our advantage.
Once we’ve made the decision not to let uncertainty affect our future, the next step is to collect and utilize all the information we’ve been given. For most churches, it’s not their intention that leads to bad decisions; it’s the lack of data and information. If you’re not sure what to measure, here’s a great starting point. By gathering what we know, we’re able to make informed and tested decisions about the future.
Have you seen uncertainty affect churches in a negative way? How do you fight the temptation to allow uncertainty to impact the future ministry of your church?