Our church is in the process of launching a 5th worship service that will be a 3rd worship style in just a couple weeks. Already, many lessons have been learned. For instance, it would seem that to put the resources in expanding a ministry might dampen the whole. This is just not true, nor have I ever seen this happen. You must start with a healthy ministry base, of course, but the principle is this: beginning something new spawns growth. Here are ten things I learned that happen when a church missionally branches out.
- People who were dormant in your church and not involved get involved. "You really need me?"
- New people come since new people like to be involved in new things. "You want new people, don’t you? Cool!"
- New resources spent on the project loosen the idea of spending on other projects otherwise shelved. "Wow, can we really dream like this all the time?"
- There is a net gain in other areas, since it challenges the whole idea of status quo. "Ouch. I am going to be left in the dust if I don’t get busy!"
- It exposes your weak areas. "Wow, we look like that to the community?"
- Not everyone will go with you and will not be satisfied regardless of results. "Show me. I’m not budging."
- There will be losses and causalities. "Hey, you are stepping on my territory here! It’s payback time."
- You may actually fail at your goals! But, the Kingdom will net in some way.
- You may actually succeed at your goals! And, that is sweet when it happens.
- You may never get credit for your efforts this side of heaven. That hurts, but is part of the job of leadership.
Having been a part of church plants and new ministries I have seen success and failure, but I have never seen a truly missional endeavor be worthless. Success can be hazardous. We tend to institutionalize the success to a point that we never take a risk that might tank the institution. We then talk up the institution and lose site of the mission that brought us the success in the first place.
I do not know if our new service will be smash or less than that. But, I can be assured of at least these ten things coming my way. I would rather fail at reaching out then succeed at status quo any day. What is remarkable to me is that I feel like I am in the minority at times!