Innovative Ministry
Bigger Fixes Nothing (7 Unexpected Steps Toward Church Health)
What two reality TV shows taught me about bringing innovation, health, and joy to broken churches and pastors.

There’s only one way to do that. Spend time in God’s Word. Hear what God is saying to your heart, not just for a sermon, but for you.

Keep it local – what's God saying to those of us right here?

Keep it fresh – what’s God saying to you right now?

3. Ask for Help

RESTAURANT: Before any episode can begin, someone at a struggling restaurant has to get tired of failure and send an email. That off-the-air cry for help may be the hardest step of all. But no one succeeds without it.

CHURCH: Jesus said “the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” But pastors can be among the most stubborn, prideful people on the planet.

Pastors have to stop trying to do everything alone, and ask for help.

Pastors have to stop trying to do everything alone, and ask for help. Then keep asking until help arrives. One request is never enough.

Then (here’s the key) be humble and listen to their advice. Especially the advice you like the least. That's usually what we need to hear the most.

4. Work Smarter, Not Harder

RESTAURANT: Laziness is seldom the problem at a failing restaurant. Here are a few ways Ramsay and Irvine help failing restaurants work smarter:

  • Delegate and Verify – Find good people, train them well, and follow up on them.
  • Manage Your Money – Know what you’re paying for food, staffing, utilities, and so on.
  • Greet the Guests – It’s easier to keep current customers happy than to find new ones.

CHURCH: There may be no harder-working person than the small church pastor. But most of us don’t work as smart as we need to. Partly because no one has told us what it means to work smarter in a small church.

  • Delegate and Verify – Most churches have good people who want to help, but they don’t step up because they haven’t been trained. We need to train them, follow up on them, then learn from the follow-up to tweak future training.
  • Manage Your Money – Know what you’re paying for everything. Put accounting principles and accountability standards in place. You can’t afford not to. It’s basic stewardship.
  • Greet the Guests – There’s a lot of work to do in a small church, and not enough time for any of it. But don’t neglect the people. In a small church, they expect their pastor to be a hands-on caregiver. If that personal touch goes missing, they will, too.

Pivot is a part of CT's Blog Forum. Support the work of CT. Subscribe and get one year free.
The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

Join in the conversation about this post on Facebook.

Recent Posts

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters