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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.

30 Sep '13

Which world are you living in: The world of mindset or the world of methods?

Posted by T.J. Addington in flexibility, methodology
There is a major difference between the world of "mindset" and the world of "methodology." Think for instance of the last decades of the church where successful churches would market their methodology and other congregations would rush to put that methodology into place in their own church. Whether preaching style, music, small groups or some other ministry facet, many are quick to chase methodology that they think will get them to the next level.

Methodology matters but a whole lot less than we think. What matters much more is the mindset that we bring to our ministry leadership. Mindset trumps methodology every time. Let me explain.

In our rapidly changing world where we minister in different contexts (just think of the differing generations and needs of those generations in the local church or the different situations we face in missions depending where in the world we are) methodologies will need to be exceedingly flexible. Even methods that may be powerful drivers of our ministry today will most likely not be in ten years. 

When I talk to ministry leaders I am far more interested in their mindset than I am in their methods. In fact it is their mindset - the underlying philosophy of their ministry that tells me the most about who they are. Mindset determines ministry methodology, not the other way around.

I will often ask ministry leaders what the central focus of their ministry is: What do they do all the time as staff? One answer is to say, "We provide the very best programming possible and believe in excellence in all we do." Another might say, "We are always encouraging our people to develop relationships with non-believers and to have influence in their circle of relationships." 

Think about those two mindsets: The first is primarily about a methodology to bring people into the church while the second is about a mindset to get their people outside the church and into meaningful relationships. How they do it will vary but the mindset is a very different mindset than the first. Methodology should serve the mindset, rather than the other way around.

Your mindset sets the stage for the results you want in ministry. Strategies follow from mindset rather than the other way around.We often confuse the two but the distinction is critical.