Are you rehashing or reimagining ministry?
As I read several congregations’ newsletters and ministry plans, I get the impression that most plans being made for the 2014-15 ministry year are simply a rehash of what’s been done in the past. The planning processes seem to revolve around “what’s been” rather that “what might be?” I think what’s missing in many congregations today is a “what if” culture. Here are some “what if” questions I’d like you to consider:
- What if we were launching this ministry for the first time – how would we do it?
- What if we dropped this program? What difference would it make in lives of our faith community or larger community?
- What if we added an online component to this ministry so that others could participate anytime, anywhere?
- What if we partnered with local congregations rather than do this just by ourselves?
- What if we had a cross+generational mix of new people plan this event rather than the same people who have done if for the past 10 years?
- What if this program was broken into short blocks of activity rather than something that runs year-round?
- What would this event look like if we incorporated everyone’s learning style rather than just one or two?
- What if another staff member took over this ministry who had gifts and passions more closely aligned to it?
Leaders need to look in the rearview mirror and reflect on the impact of their ministry activities. They also need to be forward thinking, seeking to discern God’s preferred future for their setting. Rehashing ministry may be an easy and efficient pathway for planning the coming year, but I’m not convinced that it’s the most effective way to bring about transformation in people’s lives. What might you need to reimagine rather than rehash for the upcoming program year?