In part 1 of this 3-part blog series, we talked about how to set the stage for creating a culture of continuous improvement.
Once you’ve established your desire to improve the ministry, the next question is: What are the right areas of ministry to improve?
Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit…
It is always best to get a few wins under your belt before you tackle the big stuff.
CAUTION: You will be tempted to say something like, “Well, we are already good on two of these so let’s work on the others.”
That’s the challenge for so many churches … they think they’re “already good” enough in certain areas and they don’t work to improve.
But careful attention and evaluation of every ministry is a must – ALWAYS!
No ministry has “arrived.” All ministries can be improved. Even if some are great now, they can still be greater!
Ultimately, your need to improve the ministry has less to do with making it perfect and more to do with reach and influence.Improving the ministry has less to do with making it perfect and more to do with reach and… Click To Tweet
If you could make some improvements in your ministry, and as a result, have even one more new family stick, would that be worth it to you?
I hope so!
That’s what it’s all about – reaching more people with the Gospel. Think about it…
If people like what your church has to offer, and because you “do” the ministry well, they decide to stay, then that’s helping you disciple more people (which is what we’re supposed to do).
So with that in mind, I believe these are:
The Top 8 Areas of Ministry to Improve
1. Guest Services / Hospitality
This is your first impression. You must excel here no doubt. People judge your church in a large part based on the first impression you give them.
For example, you could have an outstanding sermon, but if your people weren’t friendly, then a visitor likely won’t be back.
Do you give an over-the-top welcome? Do you welcome people as soon as they pull on the property?
Start by evaluating places where the guest may not receive an over-the-top experience and begin working to improve those areas.
2. Worship Music
Leading people into the presence of God is a wonderful privilege churches have every single week…
… and what happens during the worship time sets the stage for what God is preparing to do in the hearts of people throughout the remainder of the service.
The truth is, worship music is an important part of people’s decision-making process about attending your church on a regular basis.
Simply put … they want to attend a church that has good music.
So even if you’re already doing well, are there ways you can improve your worship music even more?
[NOTE: Want video resources to help you lead in improving your church board? Click here to access these church video resources.]
3. Children’s Ministry
Investing in children is a must for any church looking to reach families. Many people looking for a church home will base their decision simply on the children’s ministry.
So what are you doing now to stay relevant in our media-driven society? That’s the biggest thing churches have to constantly evaluate.
With access to all the latest gadgets and videos, children now look to those things for their source of entertainment…
…which means churches must look for ways to use the latest technology to reach and connect with kids at church.
Preaching obviously has massive importance for the church. We all know that to be true.
So the question is, are there ways it can be improved?
I know this can be sticky for some. Frankly, it’s hard to evaluate the preaching element of church because if you’re the communicator, you have to ask people to give their honest feedback, which you may or may not want to hear…
… or if you’re not the primary communicator, how can you kindly provide feedback for the preaching without stepping on someone else’s toes?
For most churches, the topic simply goes unaddressed. But it shouldn’t be that way. If all other areas are on the table, the preaching should be, too.
The first step is to create a way for evaluation to take place (whether through weekly debriefs, watching yourself on video, etc).Careful attention and evaluation of every ministry is a must – ALWAYS! Click To Tweet
5. Church Website
Your church website is the very first impression many people have of your church before they even come to your facility. In fact, many people will base their decision as to whether or not they’ll come to your church simply by looking at your website.
So having your best foot forward online is huge.
Whether you follow our website tips or have some other way to evaluate your website, the key is someone needs to be looking at it.
Your website is not something that, once created, sits on the shelf and is never updated. It’s your digital location and must receive care and attention just like the “hands-on” ministries receive.
6. Assimilation / Connections / Guest Follow-Up
People want to feel like they can belong. They want to connect.
Are you making it easy for this to happen? Or is it difficult to connect at your church?
So many people walk right out the back door of churches because someone (somewhere along the process) dropped the ball. It’s so unfortunate when that happens.
That’s why careful attention to your processes and systems to for follow-up, ministry participation, and volunteerism has to happen all the time.
Are there ways to make the on-ramp easier for people? Are you doing things that are not essential and as a result hindering your participation?
7. Church Photography
Churches underestimate the value of photography. Your photography should represent who you are, which means it needs to be actual pictures of YOUR people (not stock photos).
This is true for all places you use photography (online, print pieces, etc.).
Do you use stock photography? If so, begin working toward removing stock footage and start getting real photos of people inside your church.
Do the photos of your people represent who you are (or who you want to be)? Is it an appropriate cross-section of age, ethnicity, and gender?
For example, if you show only old people, you’ll resonate with older folks, but not with younger folks.
8. Facility Appearance
The appearance of your facility influences people’s thoughts about your church. When it’s neat and tidy, people feel like you have your act together. If it’s a little sloppy or cluttered, people might view the church less positively.
Here’s the challenge: This one can have as many opinions as zebras have stripes. The standard of neat and tidy differs from person to person.
You need to identify the person in your church that has perfectionist traits. Have that person do an inventory of your entire facility, inside and out.
Do not put restrictions on their observations. Things like, “Don’t bother with the crumbling parking lot because we don’t have money to fix it.” That approach will shoot you in the foot.
You may read this and say, “Where do I begin?”
Certainly it can feel overwhelming if you feel like you need massive improvement in several areas.
The key is simply to start somewhere. You can’t knock it all out in one shot. It will take time.
Starting with the lowest hanging fruit possibly will help you get a win or two under your belt. One step at a time, and you’ll eventually be a well-oiled ministry expanding your reach and influence.
In part 3, we take a look at 7 questions to ask when striving to improve a ministry.
[NOTE: Want video resources to help improve your church board’s function? Click here to access these church video resources.]