Myths of Ministry

There are many myths that impact how churches do ministry. Mark Howell has a great blog post describing five of these. I have used his list as my inspiration to restate these five myths myself.

  1. “We can fix this without upsetting anyone” This cannot be true. Everyone has an opinion and any decision necessarily means there are alternatives that come from people in the church. Some decisions are worth discussing in large groups, but there are also far more discussions that do more harm than good. Make the call, once the decision is done, it’s done. Learn from it and move on. If “everyone is happy” then there are people not talking to leaders (and they are likely talking to each others).
  2. “We will be better prepared to deal with that later” Wrong! Unless you start the solution, the best time to tackle an issue is NOW. It is better to solve a problem now with a half-way solution than wait a year for a mythical 100% solution for a 10x bigger problem.
  3. “We need more people before we start that” NO, we start that to get more people. Leaders don’t just show up to church, they are created by starting ministries. Need a class teacher? Don’t wait for a teacher, ask a member to teach. The church is a body using their gifts to serve the Lord. We are all leaders, to some degree or another, and if we wait until we get enough people to start a ministry, we never will. Start, mess up, tweak, and move forward.
  4. “We’ve tried that before and it didn’t work” Probably not. Usually, people think there are “silver bullets” that just happen without work, that’s just not true. I mostly hear, from younger pastors, something like “Sunday School just doesn’t work.” Really? Then they say “yea, people are just showing up, unprepared, sitting and listening to a lesson, it’s not changing lives…” Guess what, it’s not that Sunday School doesn’t work, it’s that you’re not working Sunday School. You can switch programs and get the same results, or you can work Sunday School the way it’s meant to be run. (get Allan Taylor’s book to get started).
  5. “What worked for us/them before will keep working” Nope. The thing you did at your other church won’t work here because it’s not your old church. What you did at this church 5 years ago won’t work because it’s not the same church it once was. We need to find the principles of “what works” and keep that going, but be flexible on the specifics of the reality on the ground.

What else do you think? (commend below)

About John Harris

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

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