Episode 175: Beyond Band-Aids: Build Systems for Sustainable Ministry Success

Ministry leaders often feel stuck in a cycle of urgency and quick fixes. In this episode, we’ll show you how to break out of that pattern with systems that not only survive but keep your ministry moving forward sustainably for the long-haul.

Show Notes:

  • One of the key things to emphasize when it comes to sustainability is systems in ministry. But often, many leaders in ministry don’t see a system or process as being vital. How do we help people see the value?
    • Legacy! If you want your ministry to last beyond you, there has to be a system and processes in place. We can restart something, but how do we take what was going and retain that momentum and steward the movement that is already in process?
    • When those systems and processes are in place, we give the space and opportunity for the Spirit to move!
  • What about when churches could use help from a consultant but the finances of it are holding them back?
    • It’s easy to fall into a short-term mindset: if we only consider what we can pay for right now, we’re costing ourselves in the long run.
    • Getting a solid volunteer recruitment process or a welcoming process into place in your ministry will pay dividends in the lives of the people in your church.
    • Over time, not only will this increase the impact of your ministry, but it will also increase people who are ready to invest financially into it which will pay back the financial expense many times over.
    • Another option is to use a consultant when your ministry is looking for a staff member. You can defer some of the cost of paying that person to temporarily bring on a consultant temporarily to help get unstuck, navigate the future, or even find the right person.
    • Consider the cost of doing nothing: “What are we going to lose if we DON’T bring in someone to help? If we continue being stuck or mediocre, what ministry are we giving up? Who will we lose?”
  • The book, Sustainable Youth Ministry, by Mark Devries, is a ministry book that doesn’t hit on the “normal” things that we think about as being important in ministry yet are often the biggest things holding us back. We also recommend:
  • We know that healthy systems and innovative change are vital for the long-term sustainability and success of the church. We need perpetual curiosity: to learn how to improve what we’re already doing as well as look into new things. It leads to a posture of coachability.
  • We also need to be people who approach ministry collaboratively. Check our egos at the door and build a web of leaders around us. That is a perspective that will lead to long-term sustainability. We need to be building others up and empowering them to be winning. It also multiplies leaders and disciples!
  • When our ministry has a strong foundation of systems and processes in place, it frees us up to be innovative and creative. You earn the trust of your people with your faithfulness and consistency which then provides the agility and the credibility or buy-in from your people where they will get on board when you try something new.
  • Why does sustainability matter in the life of the church?
    • It’s important to look at it from the perspective of a parishioner, not the staff member. These are people who often were raised in a church and will raise their kids there. Our ministries need to be able to last through those generations. Otherwise, we’re creating a roller coaster for those families and that breaks down trust over time.
  • Contact Heather Kenny: heather.kenny@ministryarchitects.com
  • Contact Mary Beth Abplanalp: marybeth.abplanalp@ministryarchitects.com
  • Connect with Brandon Collins: brandoncollins.orgbrandon.collins@ministryarchitects.com
  • Connect with Renee Wilson: renee.wilson@ministryarchitects.com