I’ve been doing a series of posts on churches and the target they have (or don’t have). You can read part 1 on the fact that every church has a target (whether defined or not) here.
Once you determine that you will have a target, the question then becomes, who is it? How do you define it? How specific should it be?
Before you can answer those questions, maybe you are still on the fence about this whole idea. Having a target as a church sounds like a business, or that you don’t like certain people or that you are catering to someone.
As I mentioned already, you have a target, it just might be defined yet.
Here’s what happens in churches without a clearly defined target:
- Every idea is a good idea. If you don’t have a clear target, every idea has to be put on the table for discussion and kept on the table. You will struggle to say no to anything, because your only reason will be “you don’t want to do it” or “we’ve alway done it this way.” Should we have a drama team? A puppet team? A quilting fair? A small group for coin collectors? Should use drums? Sing hymns? Preach topically or expository sermons? The answer to the above is yes. Do it all.
- People burn out. Which leads quickly to burnout. When you don’t have a target and say yes to things you should say no to, you end up with a busy church calendar.
- No one knows what the win is, so excitement and momentum are low or nonexistent. This is why church is so sad to me. I talked to a friend recently who quit his job at a church after “asking for almost 2 years for the lead pastor to define the win for our church. I even told him if what I was doing didn’t fit, I’d stop doing those things. I just wanted to know what the win was.” If you don’t know what the win is as the leader, no one else knows. If no one else knows, no one will know where you are, how you are doing and if it is worth their time, money, and effort. Without this knowledge, they are simply showing up. And no one enjoys just showing up. People will do it for a little bit out of a sense of duty, but they will walk away soon enough.
- Budgeting is often a battle. If every idea is a good one because there is no target, no defined win, budget meetings are filled with people arguing for their pet projects and ministries they care about. If you don’t define the win, people will make their own.
- God moves in other churches. I can’t prove this, I have no data on this. I can only look at the church I lead and the times the win was not clear there is a definite absence of God moving compared to the times the win was clear. This is convicting to me as a leader as I think about Revolution. It spurs me to stay as clear as possible, to never let me passion wane.