Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stanley's 7 Practices for Effective Ministry

North Point pastor Andy Stanley, along with sidekicks Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones, talk about their seven best practices for ministry at PracticallySpeaking.org.

This free podcast (get iTunes here) is loaded with tons of great practical advice loaded into concise 30-minute episodes. Get them while they’re up and free.

Here are the seven practices with the podcast descriptions provided by them in quotes:

Practice No. 1: Clarify the win – “Even the best team can't score if they can't find home plate. In this conversation we'll discuss the importance of clearly defining a win at every level of your organization.”

My two cents:
A focused and clear goal gets everyone pointing in the same direction, working toward the same end. This is about clarity of purpose.

Practice No. 2: Think steps, not programs – “Before you start anything, make sure it takes you where you want to go. In this conversation we'll discuss the importance of a clear ministry strategy.”

My two cents: This made me really rethink the "process."

Practice No. 3: Narrow the focus – “The longer a ministry operates the more complex it can become. In order to maintain a winning organization we must continually face the challenge of narrowing its focus.”

My two cents: Too often we get wrapped up in doing things that are "We've-Always-Done-It" events and programs. It's easy to get sidetracked on those things on the fringe.

Practice No. 4: Teach less for more –
“People are bombarded by thousands of messages every week. If the local church is going to be effective it must cut through the noise. It must learn to say only what needs to be said to the people who need to hear it.”

My two cents:
It's hard to swallow advice, but good. Stanley is undoubtedly one of the best young communicators in the church today. As for the communications ministry in specific, I am seeking to direct my church to focus on the "big five" things that need to be communicated each week. Fellowship Church has their "Fellowship Five." In communicating, we must prioritize and focus on those essentials.

Practice No. 5: Listen to outsiders – “Why don't the unchurched people in your area go to church? Could it be because you're focusing on who you're trying to keep instead of who you're trying to reach?”

My two cents: How true is this! Use surveys whenever you get a chance. Send out surveys to new residents in your community. Include one in your welcome letter to new members. Use informal surveys when going to the convenience store ... ask them if they attend a church, why not ... ask what they have heard about your church.

Practice No. 6: Replace yourself – “We all get replaced eventually. The wisest leader will extend his or her influence by finding and mentoring their replacement.”

My two cents:
Ouch! How often I have neglected this. Prepare the person to take your place. Mentor, disciple, coach.

Practice No. 7: Work on it – “All of us work in ministry every day, but is that enough? Working on your ministry requires time to evaluate your work and to celebrate your wins.”

My two cents:
Constantly be reviewing, improving, getting better. I think he mentions getting away on the beach for a staff retreat. Excellent idea.

WHAT'S YOUR TWO CENTS WORTH? Make a comment and tell us.


Blogger jenn_anthony said...

Great resource. Thanks!

10:58 AM  

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