I have a regular weekly habit of re-reading my notes taken over the years from conferences, books that I read, leadership meetings and seminars that I get the privilege of attending and more. I schedule 2 hours every week to do this. During one of these times, I ran into some notes from a Family Ministry conference that I attended. This post is an attempt to share some of these great nuggets that I still find important to measure that stem from attending this conference a couple of years ago.
The speaker, Terry Scalzitti, is a senior pastor at a church in Oceanview Baptist Church (Myrtle Beach, SC), but he spent several years doing “next gen” ministry in Florida. He started off his pre-conference workshop with Deuteronomy 6:6 to focus on why we do what we do.
A brief overview in an attempt to help start us all on the same page:
We all want to be better at what we do, because we believe that what we do matters.
You can leverage what is cultural, what is changing, to communicate what is eternal. If we don’t, we are the ones that look like a fool.
If you want to build something that lasts, you have to be willing to change what you build.
When you upgrade your system (when you’re willing to change), you highlight the mission in a clear way.
Now that we are all on the same playing ground, let me share the 5 gauges that Terry shared to help us do ministry better:
1. Strategy Gauge: Align systems so that your staff, your leaders, and your parents lead with the same end-in-mind? Sounds like common sense but poll all 3 of those groups sometimes separately and you may be amazed at the diverse answers you get.
Taking the time to Plan and think strategically as you work every week on moving the ball forward with the common mission and vision of the church can sometimes create a feeling of not being able to see the forest through the trees. Take time to strategically put some things in place to focus on the end goal, will lead to better steps along the way.
If the strategy isn’t improved…
- Silo-Thinking becomes the mentality of staff.
Over-programming and competing systems dilute the effectiveness of the church.
- There is no consistent forum to test and change ineffective programming. (As you test, keep the end in mind. Keep it constructive.)
- Leaders and volunteers get disillusioned with lack of direction.
- Parents struggle with how to partner with the church.
2. Experience Gauge: Craft core truths into engaging, relevant, and memorable experiences.
Terry stated, “I don’t want people to leave without feeling like they were a part of an experience.”
According to Leonard Sweet, an experience is:
How do we create this? We simplify, and we connect with our audience.
If an experience isn’t improved…
Parents and leaders will probably never teach the same truths as a synchronized effort.
The church is perceived as irrelevant. (People need to hear something practical. Know your audience.)
Individual leaders will tend to teach whatever they think is important.
A canceling effect happened to important core truths. (They need simple truths that are easy to understand and they can apply.)
Biblical truths are viewed as boring and irrelevant.
These are the first 2 of the 5 Family Gauges to make sure you are measuring, evaluating and testing. It is a firm belief of mine that all things important, we will measure and keep track of. If you want to test this, try and forget your wedding anniversary, or, stop measuring how many sweets you eat. You get the idea. Living the bigger picture of what God has for all of us is so important to me that measuring, changing and not giving up is of utmost importance to see the results that I know should and can be achieved.
Stay tuned for the other 3 Gauges…