Likewise, those volunteering in the nursery are taken more seriously about the color of the walls than someone who can’t find the nursery on a site map of the church building.
3. Those Affected By a Ministry
We didn’t take a poll of our church members about the design of our church website and logo, or about what our door-greeter policies should be. But we did take the pulse of first-time guests and even some people who hadn’t been to the church at all. Why? Because the website, logo and greeters have a huge effect on people’s first impression of the church.
Or take the church building, for example. In our facility upgrade a few years ago, we added more handicap ramps than are required. Why? Because people in our church who use wheelchairs and walkers pointed out the need to us. They’re the ones affected, so they have a greater say.
It only makes sense to take the pulse of people who are affected by a ministry. It’s the only way to know if you’re really having the impact you’re hoping for.
Who’s Not On the Priority List?
You may have noticed some of the usual suspects are not on my list. Here are a couple, and why they didn’t make the cut.
1. The Chronic Complainers
People with real needs matter a great deal to us. But being a complainer and being needy are not the same thing.
When I started in ministry I spent too much time reacting to every demand, whether it came from a genuine need or not, and I allowed chronic complainers to suck me dry.
In order to meet real needs, we have to prioritize our time and energy in the wisest way possible.
2. People with Titles or Positions
We shouldn’t give someone’s opinion greater weight because they have a title. They should earn the title because their opinion has greater weight. Their reputation should precede their role.
In a healthy church, people don’t earn positions by seniority or politics. They earn positions of authority because they’re mature, involved leaders.
If you’re dealing with people who believe their opinion matters because of their title, you may have to adapt to and work around some difficult situations. Pastors who have recently inherited dysfunctional churches often have a huge battle to fight in this arena.
Hold the meetings you’re required to hold. Listen to the people you’re required to listen to. Then find truly wise counsel to help you start changing the atmosphere of the church and its leadership culture.