Post by Scott Cochrane
You don’t have to know a lot about cars to be able to tell when your vehicle has an alignment problem.
One of the first signs can be when your car starts to drift to the side.
And you know that, left unattended, this could lead to serious and expensive damage later on.
Similarly, your church can experience misalignment which, left unchecked, can lead to serious problems; lack of momentum, mis-directed leadership energy, lack of unity on the staff or even people leaving the church in a huff.
Instead of moving your church forward, your church can start to drift sideways.
The good news is that, if you catch the symptoms early enough, you can take corrective measures to keep things on course.
In my years as an executive pastor of a large church, and in my years working with hundreds of churches, these are what I have found to be the top 10 alignment problems that can stall your church:
- In meetings, lead team members only seem to discuss their own ministries.
- Proposed ministry plans and budgets bear little resemblance to the agreed direction of the church.
- The look and feel of the branding for various ministries in your church look nothing like the look & feel of the church brand.
- The vision statement for your church is strangely absent from any promotional materials for the various ministries.
- Each ministry has its own positioning statement.
- Increasingly, squabbles seem to be breaking out between ministries over space allocation in the facility.
- There are doctrinal inconsistencies among the ministries.
- Age-specific ministry events are so randomly scheduled, a family would never be able to be home together during the week.
- Ministries collect their own offerings to support their own projects.
- Each ministry has its own posted “Vision and Values”, completely disconnected from the church’s vision and values.
Getting your church back into alignment requires constantly reinforcing church-wide vision, values and strategies.
Realignment will take some time, but if you keep at it you will see increased alignment appear.
And you just may avoid a pretty messy wreck down the road.
How do you keep your church ministries aligned?
Scott Cochrane is the Vice President of International at Willow Creek Association. Loves Jesus, Nora, Adam, Amy and John. Football and hockey further down the list. Follow Scott on Twitter: @WScottCochrane