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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

21 Mar '14

Moving from illusion to reality

Posted by T.J. Addington in disciplemaking, strategic, strategy
Many churches and other Christian ministries (along with their staff and boards) live in illusion. Their illusion is that all is well, that they are making disciples, that they are seeing significant new fruit or that they are a healthy church. It is often illusion because it is what they desire to believe about themselves but it is often not the true reality.

Why live in illusion? It is a comfortable place to be as it allows us to believe that we are doing well. And we all want to do well. But, without a specific plan in any important ministry area we cannot move our ministry from illusion to reality. Getting to reality requires a plan, intentionality and the ability to measure the result. 

Let's take disciplemaking. Very few churches if asked have an intentional disciplemaking process. Even fewer have built disciplemaking into the very fabric of who they are so that it touches everything they do and everyone who is involved. And finally it is a rarer thing still to have a way of measuring the results of these efforts. Yet, without these kinds of steps the church is living in the illusion that they are doing well.

Here is an interesting exercise. Have you staff or board list the most important issues that you believe the church ought to be doing well in from a scriptural point of view. Then ask these simple questions:

  • Do we have a real plan?
  • Do we have a description of what we are after?
  • Are we being intentional?
  • Can we measure the result?
  • How are we really doing?
  • Based on the above are we living in illusion or reality?
These questions can be applied in the local church, on the mission field and in any Christian ministry. Of course the only individuals who will ask the questions are those who desire to live in reality rather than illusion.

(Written today from Berlin, Germany)