May 13, 2011

When Opportunity Knocks...Should You Open the Door?

Opportunity will knock at your ministry door quite often. The knock will come from a dad who has a great idea. The knock will come from a music group that is going to be coming through your area. The knock will come from a new family in the church who asks if you offer a popular ministry program.

The knock will come from an idea a staff member has. The knock will come from a prominent family in the church who wants you to start a certain program. The knock will come from someone who wants to use your church facilities for a special event.

The knock will come from someone who offers specialty classes for kids and wants to enter a business partnership. The knock will come from a conference you attend.

When opportunity knocks, you must decide if you want to open the door or not. And that's not always an easy decision.

It's important to know the right questions to ask even before you hear the knock.
  • Will this help us fulfill the vision God has for our ministry?
  • Does this line up with our strategy and direction?
  • How will this impact the ministry as a whole?
  • Is this sustainable?
  • How will this impact resources and staff?
  • How will this impact other ministries?
  • Is this opportunity already offered at other churches in our area?
  • Is this a "niche" that God wants us to use?
  • Is the opportunity based on the personal interest of a few?
  • Am I willing to move something else off the plate to make this happen?
  • Is this a "good" idea or a "God" idea?
  • Will this bear fruit that remains?
  • Will this help us reach people who are lost or just bring in consumer church people from other churches?
  • How many volunteers will it take to make it happen? 
  • Will it pull volunteers away from other key areas?
  • Will it stretch us too thin?         
Here are some guidelines and principles I also use when I hear the knock.
  • Don't say "yes" without first seeking God in prayer and getting His confirmation.
  • Find your niche' and do a few things well. You can do a lot of things mediocre or a few things with excellence.
  • Families make choices with their time. Don't schedule things that will pull them away from the main focus.
  • Keep things simple.
  • It's about the weekend service. Anything you do outside of the weekend service will affect it. 
  • Just because someone wants you to do it, doesn't mean you should.
  • Effectiveness is not determined by how many ministry opportunities are on your calendar.
  • What you say "no" to is just as important as what you say "yes" to.
  • Sometimes good ideas have to die so great ones can live.
  • Be process driven instead of program driven. Think "pathways to growth" instead of programs.
How you respond when opportunity knocks will determine the effectiveness of your ministry. Make sure you know when and when not to open the door.

Posted by Dale Hudson

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