Three years ago I made a transition from business into ministry. At the heart of the decision was a desire be apart of an environment that was relevantly communicating the reality of God to the community it was in. I ended up saying no to a church of nearly 1000, to say yes to a church of 260. I knew going in that the smaller church would be way more work, but also that I would have far more involvement in direction and leadership.
Three years, how’s it going? Well, we are a church that has seen many more people hear and believe that God is real, that Jesus Christ is real and decided to pursue a life in relationship with God. Very cool. The first year was a year of transition on almost every front. The average attendance was 260. The second year the average attendance went up to 282 and last year the average was 324. That has looked like almost 400 on several Sundays through the past six months. Our evaluation tool (Natural Church Development) has seen improved scores across the board. In fact, we are up from an average score of 51 three years ago when I first arrived to 65. 51 was a sign that pretty much everything needed a great deal of improvement, 65 that everything is running fairly well.
Wow, cool eh. Well here’s the kicker. I never thought I would be able to exercise many of my convictions on leadership, administration, strategy, relationships and much more. I have seen the positive effects of being given the freedom to follow my beliefs and abilities to a logical end. So what is the problem? I have done what I always thought I could do. To a very real degree I have been a major part of a difficult but positive turn around. Both from a spiritual and organizational sense our church has gone from less than great to almost great. Now we need to go to the next level. From both a spiritual and a organizational standpoint we need to become the greatest that we can be under God.
John Maxwell in his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” describes the Law of the Lid as the innate ability a leader might have to lead an organization to a certain level but not beyond. Two things here, I am not THE leader. I am the Associate Pastor, so I realize that ultimately I needn’t fool myself with how much influence I have. Secondly, I do not think I have come anywhere close to my lid, but… I know that I have some serious work to do to make sure that I get way out ahead of where I am today in all the areas I lead. My mission in life is to tell people about God and Jesus Christ. My gift in the church is to make sure that upon hearing and believing, there is an organization there that can properly mentor and disciple them in the way they should go! It’s going to be a busy summer of learning!