Have you ever been to the circus and wondered how one small rope tied around the leg of a huge elephant can keep it from moving? When elephants are young, their handlers use the same size rope tied to their leg, with the other end tied to a rod buried deep in the ground. At that age, since they are still small, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow larger, the elephants become conditioned to believe that when they feel the rope around their leg, they cannot get away, so they never try to break free. Because they believe they can’t, they remain right where they are. They’re going nowhere.
Unfortunately, that same mindset is keeping some churches from experiencing the growth potential that many church leaders long for. When a church starts out, the lack of resources keeps most churches on a tight leash. However, as the church grows, many leaders fail to take the time to think strategically through the growth. Eventually, this leaves the church leader feeling a lot like the 5 ton elephant, realizing their potential, but unable to go anywhere.
If your church is stuck in a place where you can’t seem to break through to reach the vision you have for your church, here are three keys for moving forward:
1. Set aside time to evaluate where you are in relation to your expanding vision.
As your church grows, you have to be intentional about continually asking if what you’re doing is right and best. If you don’t understand the important ministry metrics to measure and keep the results of your ministry in front of you, you’ll never have the guarantee that what you’re doing is working.
2. Develop an understanding for how your processes and systems work.
While focusing on the weekend experience is very important, it’s not enough to engage people in real relationships and authentic community. None of this just happens; there must be a method behind what you want to accomplish. Having an understanding for how your processes and systems work can help you make the right adjustments as your ministries continue to grow.
3. Don’t be afraid to test your limits.
Unlike the elephant, you know you have an opportunity to break free. While getting from where you are to where you want to be might take time, you’ll never get there unless you take the first step. The key is understanding what steps to take and how far you should step out.
These are just a few of the ideas covered by Carl Adams in his eBook “Is Your Church an Elephant?” If you want to understand how your church can break free from the leash that’s keeping you from running wild and how technology helps cut your free, you can download the eBook here.
Has your church reached a place where you feel tied up? What are you doing to break free?