I follow the stock market. Doing fairly well but only about 15% of the way to what I need till I retire. There are two big things I know about the stock market:

  • Don’t follow the herd
  • The market hates uncertainty

I might spend another blog post on the first one but let me speak to uncertainty here because church members hate uncertainty too and it will show up in their support of their church – in their generosity of their time and the money.

Church’s must have goals – targets at which they’re aiming. Unless a church has one thing that unites them, then everything will divide them. Church members want to be part of something larger – that’s why they joined and participate in a church. They want their church to be on mission to do something, go somewhere, be leading in some way. If their church is not, then it quickly becomes a social club. Country clubs (I’ve never joined a country club and won’t, either) have no function except to serve their members – at least from my perspective. Church’s are not country clubs – they are churches.

Get rid of the uncertainty in your church. Find a mission/purpose and charge that vision with everything you’ve got. Plan for it strategically and tactically (notice, I said “plan”!) and then fulfill that plan of attack.

Your church is like a ship. There are places it cannot go easily like a ship cannot easily go on dry land. But two-thirds of the earth is water so your church/ship can go to more than half the world. The church are crew members, not passengers. If your church were passengers then you’d have a cruise ship which goes out to sea each Sunday morning and returns to the safe harbor before sundown. But your church members want to sail the high seas – they want a purpose in their church. They want to aim for the horizon and THEY WILL PAY GLADLY if their leader will take them to the far side of the world. Don’t underestimate your church – give them the adventure of their lives – the adventure that God promised each of us when he asked us to be fishers of men and women.

If you rob people of the chance to sail into deep and scary waters, then you’ve created uncertainty. No one knows where the cruise ship will head this week, what are our goals (to have a better meal than last time, a better Sunday morning show?), where are we going together and why are people leaving our church/ship for other places or even leaving the faith altogether. Don’t create uncertainty – create a vision. Clothe, feed, and nurture that vision every two or three weeks (Bill Hybels says that vision must be cast every 28 days or less). Be specific, be challenging, be big in your dreams, be willing to work with other organizations, be more God-sized in scope. Give your church a purpose and you’ll be amazed at the number of people clamoring to get on board.

Lead On!