How to Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement

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How to Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement

(NOTE: This is part 1 of a 3-part blog series. In part 2, we talk about the Top 8 Areas of Ministry to Improve. In part 3, we share 7 questions to ask when striving to improve ministry.)

Chances are you were not taught how to create and build church culture in Bible school or seminary…

…but it’s an essential responsibility of pastors.

The fact is every church has a culture. It’s the way people in your church operate – their way of life – their way of thinking and behaving.

Church leaders can and should intentionally create the culture they want for the church.

One of the cultures we recommend developing among your teams of staff and volunteers is a culture of continuous improvement.

Growing churches work to continually improve their ministry. They strive to make it better all the time. They do things with purpose and with excellence …

… but remember, the goal is not perfection. The goal is improvement.

How can we take what we did today and make it better next week? This is the goal.

Your church and the people you are reaching deserve nothing but the best in ministry. To give anything less than your best is a missed opportunity.

The key to continually improve your ministry is to recognize it can be improved. Churches that feel they’ve hit the mark and already do it well enough are sorely mistaken. Even the best-run churches in the world can still do something better.

(NOTE: Want to know the proper roles and responsibilities for Church Boards? Click here)

Guidelines for church boards & pastors

Okay, so now what?

There are three primary aspects to building a culture of improvement:

  1. Set the stage for a culture of improvement.
  2. Identify the main area(s) to focus on.
  3. Develop a plan to make improvement.

Today we’re going to look at how to set the stage for creating a culture of improvement.

If this is not presently in your church’s DNA, then you need to begin working toward developing this culture among your staff or volunteers.

First you have to begin talking with your staff and volunteers about the need to improve.

Initially some of your team may push back and say, “Well, we’re already good to go in certain areas.” That’s the natural human tendency … especially for the area they oversee!

But you need to begin training them to dig deeper, examine harder, and identify ways to improve.

Help them understand the rationale for developing a culture of improvement. Don’t just tell them to fix things. They need to know why you want to do it. Say things like:

“We want to continually do ministry better to more effectively reach people.”

 “We never want to become stagnant or comfortable with where we currently are.”

 “Improving our ministry will help us go to the next level in reaching people.”

 Statements like that will help build the buy-in you need from staff or volunteers….

… because let’s face it – as good as you are, you can’t do this alone. You need a team to help you improve the ministry experience at your church. The more people believe in the idea of improvement, the quicker you’ll create that culture in the DNA of your church and see greater influence.

Creating a culture of continuous improvement in your church is not about perfection but improvement. Click To Tweet

Second, YOU need to model it.

There’s nothing worse than telling your team what you want them to do but you not leading the way.

For example, if you’re the preacher, you need to explore ways to improve your preaching. Let them see your desire to improve (even if you’ve been doing it for 30 years!). Ask people from a variety of ages what they think you can do to improve connecting with the audience. Bring others along the journey with you.

You also need to incorporate times of debriefing with your teams. Whether it’s with staff, volunteers, church board members, etc., debriefing each weekend or special events will help you identify what worked well and what needs to be improved…

… so that next time you can make the experience even better!

This type of modeling will show your team what a culture of improvement looks like and how to do it right. Over time, you’ll find it become a regular part of who they are, too.

When it’s all said and done, it’s not about getting better for the sake of getting better. It’s about getting better to see more lives changed.

That’s what you want, that’s what we want, and that’s what God wants. So let’s get started!

Part 2: The top 8 areas of ministry to improve

Part 3: 7 questions to ask when striving to improve ministry

(NOTE: Want to know the proper roles and responsibilities for Church Boards? Click here)

Guidelines for church boards & pastors


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