5 Keys for Building Ministry Momentum

There are seasons in your ministry when you can feel momentum happening … it seems like things are just flowing a little easier and the energy of the church is pushing the ministry forward. I’ve lead in ministries where the momentum is tangible … every step does seem to be easier than the one before.

However, I’ve also lead in contexts where we don’t have momentum … everything seems to be an uphill push. In a church without momentum every step is more difficult than the one before. Gaining and keeping momentum is a difficult process for church leaders.

Here are a few dynamics that I’ve observed about momentum through my years of ministry leadership.

  • 150 Weekends // We all want things to turn around quickly at our churches … but in my experience sustained momentum takes about 3 years to generate. It doesn’t happen in a month or a season or even a year. Distracted leaders have a hard time generating momentum in their churches because they are always pursuing the next shiny object. Your church is getting the results from the efforts it has been focusing on for the last few years. Does your leadership team have the perseverance to focus over an extended period of time?
  • Focus. Focus. Focus. // By definition you can’t gain momentum in wide variety of areas. You need to be focus your time, effort and energy on just a few things. Looking to improve the musical worship portion of your weekend experiences? You’ll need to think and act about that every week and almost ignore other areas. Have you narrowed the focus of your church leadership enough so it’s understood what you are trying to push forward? 
  • You’ll Need to Be Unpopular // To gain momentum unlike any other church you know … you’ll need to do stuff that no-one else is doing. You’ll need to make decisions and calls that might seem counter intuitive because innovation is the road less traveled. Most churches don’t have momentum … so you’ll need to do things that most churches aren’t doing. People will question what you are doing … why you aren’t like every other church around you. What are you thinking about trying that seems a bit crazy that might just help push forward your church?
  • Obsess About the Details // Small wins matters. Someone needs to keep their eye on what happens regularly in the details of your church. Sustained momentum is created by 1,000,000 small things all pushing the same direction … each of those little things pushes towards the end goal of moving the church forward. Have you inspired, informed and empowered your team to get the details right at your church?
  • Iterate towards Innovation // Chances are that the areas that you are trying to gain momentum in that other churches have already spend a bunch of time figuring out. Rather than dreaming up what you think you should learn from other churches who have already solved the issue. Talk with them and understand the mistakes they’ve made along the road. Don’t just copy and paste from their church to yours … but adopt their practices and modify them to fit your culture. Which churches should you spend time learning from this year?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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Recent Comments
I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 
Reminds me Tony Morgan's classic post entitle “What If Target Operated Like A Church?” I wrote about this in a blog post "Is Your Church Like Target…or More Like A Mall?" https://goo.gl/2qQIy3
 
— bruceherwig
 
Challenging and very good
 
— John Gilbank
 

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