To assist a church to change its trajectory from declining attendance, I ask: “Why do people come to church?” I then walk people through thinking about their answers to determine if what they are doing and providing positions them to be the kind of church people will want to attend.
I affirm we are not talking about compromising on the Word of God or issues related to what the Bible identifies as the essentials of Christian faith. Change focuses on matters of style regarding how we express these essentials.
Mission (not me) Matters Most
I help church leaders to identify what matters most and how to avoid getting bogged down in trivial matters that fail to address the changes necessary to become the kind of church that is more meaningful to true believers and seekers within their communities. Often the identification process takes 4-8 hours. Walking out the processes that implement the changes takes six months or longer.
A significant early goal is for leaders to identify why people would come to church as opposed to what we want them to prefer, so they will come to our church.
Leaders Make or Break Change
The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context identifies leadership styles based upon those within the book of Judges. One-dimensional Samson-type leaders do not see how to use their great personal gifts to fulfill organizational objectives. Two-dimensional leaders understand the mission, but fail to align resources into processes that effectively achieve it.
The Context for Church Change
Three-dimensional leadership processes help us obtain an objective ten thousand foot view of the context to rise above the presuppositions and personal preferences that undermine the organization’s ability to thrive. Church decline indicates challenges to achieve The Great Commission, the success and failure of which determines the salvation, outlook, values and direction of entire civilizations. The mission to “go into all the world” is one worth getting right.