Last night I lost my last knight. And then my queen. And then all my pawns. Yes, my 14 year old son beat me in chess and I am still upset about it. But there is a very good reason he won. He was trying to win. I, on the other hand, was just trying to play a game and have a little family time with my teenager. It reminded me of a very important lesson in church work. What you are trying to accomplish determines your actions.
Let me say that again. What you are trying to accomplish determines the things you are doing. There are some great parallels to our church work.
My kid was trying to whip his daddy in chess. His moves were calculated and showed a definite strategy. His long term thinking, his planning and execution paid off well. I, as mentioned, was in it just for the actions. I was moving out of habit and routine. My strategy was just to do what I usually do and I’d get what I usually got. Since I was superior in age and experience it worked most of the time. Not any more. Now, I am a loser.
So here are a few areas of ministry in our churches that might need a new burst of strategy, planning and execution. That is unless you want to risk being a loser.
- Outreach- Is it really reaching out or has it become program that only a few “obedient” one get involved in?
- Mid-week Bible Study- Has this time turned to an outlet for “preaching” rather than really digging?
- Sermons- Are they more about what you need to say or are they truly developing people?
- Leadership Meetings- Is it about strategizing and leading or routine discussion and approval?
- Engagement- Is it about supposed interest in your sermon or do you have real plan each Sunday to engage the participants who sit in your chairs? (learn more at ReachKeep Conference-Engage 2014)
So let’s do a leadership exercise. Determining just what a church is trying to accomplish will require some heavy thoughts and prayers. Don’t settle for the pat answer that has a “glorifying God…” phrase it it. We all know that. That is like both my son and I wanting to “win”. The deeper questions revolve around your specific “what and how” questions. The exercise should also take a strong look at “why”. And again, not pat answers here. Dig in and don’t stop till you have it figured out.
A wise church leader knows their people need clear and concise direction. It may takes days and days to figure out your specific purpose, but once you get there, hopefully you won’t be losing any more knights.
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