First of all, what do I mean by successful church? A successful church is one who makes disciples of Jesus Christ. What is a disciple? A disciple is someone who follows Jesus, is changed by Jesus, and is committed to the mission of Jesus.
What makes a church successful in achieving this goal? It might not be what you think. There are the obvious parts to this equation: developing a culture of grace, a dedication to the Word of God, and the wind of the Holy Spirit in our worship, are all elements in a successful church. There are some other elements too. Here are seven of them that you may have overlooked.
1. People in successful churches understand the church’s purpose. In fact, they just don’t understand it. They live it, breathe it, and feel a sense of passion and ownership of the mission. People in the church personalize the mission to themselves because they know they can make a difference.
2. People in successful churches are committed. They are committed to the people in their church as well as the institution of the church. They are loyal to each other and they enjoy the company of being at church. They know their faith is better together than as individuals.
3. People in successful churches know how to talk with each other.. High performance churches talk with each other regularly in an open and honest manner. They don’t put on false faces for church. They contribute in decision making and they provide valuable feedback to each other.
And when conflict comes (and it will come), they are able to handle it constructively. High performance leaders understand the importance of communicating externally about what they are doing and why it’s important to the overall mission of the church.
4. People in successful churches trust each other. A healthy church will have the moral fiber to maintain confidences, honor commitments, and support each other 110%. People in these churches are reliable and the church knows they can count on each other- ALL of the time.
5. People in successful churches build on their strengths. We spend way too much time worrying about our weaknesses when compared to building our strengths. The trick is to manage our weaknesses to an acceptable level. Church members exercise their gifts and talents, and when perspectives and experiences emerge, a sense of partnership is born.
6. People in successful churches are solutions based. The church understands what it takes to provide solutions and aren’t afraid of processes. Problems are seen as challenges and, if the team doesn’t have a tool, resource or technique needed, they’ll add it to their repertoire. Whatever it takes is what they’re willing to learn time and time again.
7. People in successful churches aren’t afraid of evaluation. A great church (including leaders) doesn’t fear evaluation. That’s because they know it will make a better church body. The same is true with high performance teams. They’re not afraid to evaluate and learn from their misfires or mistakes because they know it will make them better! High performance churches are built to flip – always ready to make a change for the better, make it more effective and do it on a moment’s notice. They are driven by the church’s goals and objectives and are willing to give everything they’ve got to make it happen.
How does our church measure up to these standards?