I attended the Whiteboard Sessions 2010 conference in VA Beach on Friday, May 21. These are my notes from the various speakers.
Tony is currently Pastor of Ministries at West Ridge Church near Atlanta. He is a ministry strategist.
Big idea: What happens after people connect with our churches.
Our objective is to help people take their next steps in their faith journey. As a ministry team you need to wrestle with the notion of what a fully devoted follower of Christ looks like. Then as yourselves the question if what you are doing helps people to get there. There is no magic formula to help people get from point A to point B, but we need to be more intentional about helping them get there.
Ministry programming is often put out there by churches to help them, but often it has the effect of just creating confusion. Example: grocery store taste test. Two scenarios. 1 with 24 options of jams and another with 6 options. The scenario with less options had a higher rate of purchase. Too many choices and options can create paralysis.
People want to take the next step and do the right thing, but they are stuck and we are making them stuck by confusing them. We often fall into the trap of measuring activity instead of life change. What the questions we can ask?
If there is not a clearly defined ministry strategy and communication each one just tries to speak LOUDER. Effect: lots of noise and confusion.
5 Steps to Avoid Noise:
1. Clarify the mission, vision, and values of the church
2. Focus the discipleship strategy – help people figure out next steps.
3. Consistency of your message (across ministries)
4. Prioritize your message (what is on platform and what is not).
5. Eliminate competing messages (critical eye to each ministry).
Too often our communication strategy is like that of car dealerships in the south. Just put out a giant inflatable blue monkey and they will come! Our individual ministries too frequently compete with each other for attention, so they try to outdo each other.
He (giant inflatable blue monkey) is roaming the hall of the church. He is the all of the things you do to promote your ministries in your church. Promoting better is not what helps people take next steps. So what gets people into church for the first time? A friend invites them. Once they are here, then what? Bring out the blue monkey!
Alternative Thought: Create environments where life change can happen and encourage people to develop relationships. But away the blue monkey.