As 2018 quickly approaches, it’s important for us to pause for just a moment and think about what we want the year to look like. As we visually and prayerfully map out 2018, as leaders, we’ve got to make leadership growth a top priority for our sake and the sake of the ministry in which God has brought us to and through. Here’s a list of questions/statements to answer/consider when charting out your 2018 Ministry Growth Plan (I do recommend writing these out).
Where does innovation come in to play within my ministry setting? I am a firm believer in innovation over duplication. For ministry leaders like yourself, that simply means that we must stop relying on yesterday's good idea for today's good idea. We should be seeking a fresh word from the Lord, fresh vision, fresh ideas and His direction on where the ministry is headed. And here's the hard truth, today's duplication was yesterday's innovation. We must be leaders in innovation and cannot be reliant on yesterday's results. Take just a few moments right now, before proceeding, and ask the Lord for a fresh vision, for fresh ideas, a new and fresh direction, a new way of doing something.
What conference(s) and/or professional development opportunities will I pursue? I am also a firm believer in attending conferences, in person or online. Conferences give you an opportunity to go away for just a little bit and focus on getting that fresh word from the Lord, on gaining new friendships, on hearing from some of the best leaders in your specific field of ministry. Here are 3 conferences I'll be attending in 2018: CPC 18 (January 16-18, 2018), #OC18 (April 25-27, 2018), and Exponential Conference (October 2-4, 2018). But I also recognize that not everyone has the ability to attend a conference due to scheduling, finances, etc. Don't let that stop you from growing in 2018.
Many experienced leaders are starting to offer some coaching that is personalized to your ministry and perhaps even experience and ministry size. Folks like Tom Bump and Tom Pounder are a couple of folks who are offering to coach ministry leaders. Tom Bump specializes in children's & family ministry while Tom Pounder focuses on student ministry & the quickly growing digital ministry. Another set of folks I'd like to point you to are Sue Miller and Adam Duckworth. They are the co-authors of the Not Normal Book and Leading Not Normal Volunteers. Together, they coach several folks in children's ministry across a 10-week platform that you are guaranteed to grow from and you can take part in right from the comforts of your home or office. Here's how you can connect with these folks:
Adam Duckworth & Sue Miller:
Who am I going to bring along on this journey in 2018? Ministry was never intended to be done alone. The one man who could have easily done it alone had a team of 12 plus many other followers and workers. You'll want to have someone along with you for accountability and to simply have another voice to pour into you.
How am I communicating the message I want families to know/live out? For so many of us, communication to different folks is within arms reach a good portion of the day. Many of my ministry parents are on social media. Guess what? I'm on social media. I want to be where a large number of my parents are. They are a target group for me to communicate with on a daily/weekly basis. I have a social media strategy that I use to help communicate the message I want families to know/live out. I also go on Facebook Live on Wednesday nights and stream my teaching. Not only are my parents watching, but other church members and hundreds of other folks that I have a connection with. That's a win for me! Perhaps this is where you use some innovation to you or your church first. Proceed as the Lord leads. If the senior leadership says no, go with it. Do seek out opportunities to hear their voice on the matter and for them to hear yours.
When will I evaluate and re-evaluate my growth steps? Here are four 90 day points for us to use.
1st 90- Develop/Implement your 2018 ministry growth plan. What are two-three areas of ministry or personal growth that you desire to get stronger in? Keep it to two-three. You want achievable goals and you also want to have two-three in place come January 1, 2019. Months January-March
2nd 90- Develop a scoring system. Work with your Journey partner to develop a grading scale on how you want to score each other. Have your two-three goals written down with where you both would come to an agreement on where each other is on that scale. Months April-June
3rd 90- Detail your strides of growth. If you started off as a six in recruiting and moved to a seven, detail how you went about that. Detail your hard work. Months July-September
4th 90- Determine the outcome. This is the fine tuning of your strategy. This is ideally where we are about an eight-nine on our growth scale and we're putting together the best pieces to reach a ten. This is also where you will want to work with your Journey partner to lay out your growth plan for 2019. Months October-December
Why is enlarging my circle of influence is crucial to the success of my ministry? The simple truth to this is the more people you gain in your circle of influence, the greater number of folks who hear your heart, the greater number of folks who hear the heart of God and want to be apart of what you are doing. Relational evangelism and recruiting at its finest.
If I want to become a better Christian, husband, father, communicator, children's pastor, outreach pastor, I have to enlarge my circle of influence with those who are great at those things. There is always someone who knows more than I do and I want to be around those people so that I can know more too.