The Next Logical Step…is Often the Wrong One

When are you willing to pull the plug on a strategy?  How many times does a strategy need to have the exact same results before you conclude that it is the wrong strategy?

When are you willing to rethink an assumption?  How many times are you willing to profess confusion when the outcome is not what you anticipated?

How often have you begun thinking about the next ministry season and set in motion an almost exact replica of last year’s approach because you always have a small group fair right after Labor Day (complete with a catalog of semester options) or for that matter, you always do a church-wide campaign in the fall (and your existing groups love including new people for those 6 weeks).

I can’t speak for you, but I can say that it’s normal to do again with only slight variation what you’ve done previously.  It’s normal.  It happens all the time.  And that’s the problem.  After all, didn’t Einstein persuade us when he said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results?”

If you want different results you need to change the design.  And I should add, if you want significantly different results you’ll need to do more than tweak the design.  You’re going to need a different design.

Dreaming of being a church of groups but seem permanently mired in the muck of church with?  Chances are your strategy has a design flaw.  Can’t figure out how to break through the 50% connected in groups barrier?  Odds are your strategy needs a major overhaul.  Stuck at 80% adults connected in groups?  In all likelihood…your strategy has an innate limitation that prevents breakthrough.

I like Tim Brown’s analysis.  Brown, the CEO and President of IDEO and author of Change by Design, has pointed out that teams that are truly committed to developing breakthrough products “will not feel bound to take the next logical step along an ultimately unproductive path (Change by Design, p. 17).”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Howell

Mark Howell

I’m the Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m also LifeWay’s Small Group Specialist. I’m the the founder of SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services that help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. In addition, I’m the guy behind MarkHowellLive.com, SmallGroupResources.net, StrategyCentral.org and @MarkCHowell.

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Recent Comments
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
— VRcurator
 

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