As your teams continually work toward healthy church, here are some roadblocks you might face, and some strategies to guide you along the way.
By Michelle Fleming, GCI Communications Director
If you’re anything like me, the idea of trying something new is completely different from the reality of it. Creative is one of my top voices, so facilitating a brainstorm session, making a plan for a new experience, or developing a new iteration of an old process are all my jam.
But something happens when I go to move from provisional to plan when developing something new. I hit a speed bump or roadblock that requires me to persevere as I work toward my goal. The reasons may be different for different voice and personality types, but I think the idea versus actual experience disparity of trying something new is common for all of us.
Although many of us have served in ministry for a large part of our lives, and we are in year five of adopting to the Team Based – Pastor Led model of ministry, many of our ministry processes are still new to us. Continually evolving technology, new means of communication, and shifting cultural rhythms and norms have us changing the way we connect with and minister to our neighbors.Read More
Fear is a universal emotion. If you’re human, you’ve experienced it. For some of us, fear stops us before we start. Fear of failure. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of the unknown. These fears can keep us following our same routines and comforts in ministry, even when they are no longer working or serving their purpose. For others, fear can be a motivator. However, action motivated by fear rarely brings about the change it hopes for, because it is frenzied and manic rather than intentional.
Go to God as a team and ask him where change or innovation is needed to lead you to healthy church. He is the one who equips us for ministry. Pray together, process together, encourage one another, and discern Spirit-led, necessary changes together. In relationship with God and one another, we can allow his perfect love to drive out our fear.
- Lack of Clarity
Sometimes we are detoured from trying something new because we haven’t taken the time to discern the purpose of or reason for any potential change. Without this, it is easy to get lost along the way and lose momentum.
Start new projects with the big picture in mind. As a church, we know our mission is to live and share the gospel. What a beautiful “why.” With this in mind, we can work out the “what” and “how” in our local contexts.
I identify as a recovering perfectionist, and I know from experience that perfectionism can send us into an analysis paralysis where nothing gets done. As mentioned in the above point, there are standards and a purpose to what we do. However, perfection is an unrealistic goal, and attempting to achieve it usually gets in the way of accomplishing our purpose.
Prioritizing is key to making progress the value over perfection. Remember your purpose and goal. What is essential to making this happen? Let go of your expectations and prioritize.
Comparison takes us on a wild ride. Depending on who we are comparing ourselves with, we are either the ultimate best or the absolute worst.
Participating in ministry with Jesus helps us see ourselves rightly. We are all made in God’s image; we all share a common humanity; we have all been equipped with giftings needed for the building of the body. Ministry is not a competition; we are gifted differently and will participate in mission differently. We can trust God to provide what we need through our teams. Our time and energy is best spent communing with God and one another for vision and direction, rather than comparing ourselves with others.
- Look out for the J Curve
Our expectation for the graph of our life’s progress is often a straight line up and to the right. However, nothing in life is linear. In fact, when we introduce change, studies show that the graph forms a curve that looks like the letter J. This is especially true among teams, when we introduce something new. It takes time for the group to absorb the new process and develop new ways of functioning. Be prepared for individual and team productivity to initially go down. As we adapt, functioning and productivity will exponentially increase.
We will experience resistance and roadblocks as we grow and try new things. These are opportunities to pause and reevaluate, and to discern with God our next steps and where he is leading us once again.