A few weeks back I had a local ministry ask to take me out to lunch to get to know me. I know the code, get to know me means pitch their ministry to raise money. There is nothing wrong with this, my dad raises money for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I like meeting with para church organizations, often partnering with them offers our church opportunities in ministry that we couldn’t accomplish alone. For me I use these “get to know you” meetings to discern what they do and their value to my church.
Back to the meeting. We talked through the formalities, kids, wife, church and got down to business. The para church minister began to describe his needs. I asked him what his ministry did. Now, to give you full disclosure I said very little in this meeting. People in church work are often in love with their own voices and don’t know how to listen. He must have spoke for 10 minutes straight using words like strategy, organize and team, but never actually articulating what his ministry did.
I decided to take a different approach. I asked him, if you could do anything in your ministry, if monetary limitations were not an issue what would you do? Again, he talked a lot and said NOTHING. Lunch ended, we went back to the office, thanked each other for our time and our meeting was done.
I wanted to give my guest the benefit of the doubt. I called my dad and asked him the same questions. He articulated a specific plan to reach students and coaches in the local high school. I then called one of my close friends in Duncan, Oklahoma who serves in a ministry that supports churches. I asked the same questions and he articulated a plan in two sentences.
Every business has product. I don’t go to McDonalds for their business plan, I go because they have better happy meal toys than the other fast food restaurants. (Did you really think I was going to say I went to McDonalds for the food?)
Every church should have a product. When a person comes and asks us what we do, we should be able to articulate in less that 2 sentences why we exist. Sadly most churches exist to exist. They have no end, they take up precious real estate and time.
Can you articulate what your church does? Could you communicate what your church would do if it had no limitations? If not, what needs to be done to change that?