Why Your Ministry Needs Outside Eyes

You've got eyes on your ministry.  You carefully watch and monitor attendance, volunteers, programs, processes, challenges, events and more.  And you are able to see most of what is happening. 

But you can't see everything.  Why?  Because every ministry has blind spots.  Blind spots are caused by...

Success.  We rarely examine or analyze successful programs, events or processes.  If it's not broken, don't try to fix it, right?  

“Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”  -Bill Gates

If you are not intentional, ministry achievements can produce troublesome blind spots.  It can cause you to think that past results will guarantee future success.

Lack of Diversity.  Our natural tendency is to gather people around us who have the same personality type as us, who think like us and act like us.  While this is good for unity, the downside is it can lead to blind spots.  There is no one to challenge us, question us and make us take a hard look at what we are doing.

Familiarity.  Familiarity leads to blind spots.  When you are close to something, it can actually cause you to miss the obvious.  The comfortable can lull you into complacency. 

This is why your ministry needs outside eyes.  You need someone who isn't "wowed" by your success...someone who thinks a little different than you...someone who can bring an outside perspective...someone who is not familiar with the "way things are."  

Here are some ways to turn the gaze of outside eyes onto your ministry: 

Make connections with other ministries.  It's easy to get so consumed with your own ministry and become so busy, that you isolate yourself from other ministries.  Be intentional about connecting with other ministries both locally and outside of your area.  Go visit other ministries and see what they are doing.  Get on the phone and call another ministry you admire and ask questions.  Connect on social media with other ministries. 

This will provide you with other perspectives and other ways of doing ministry. 

Ask guests for feedback.  A great way to get outside eyes on your ministry is by asking first-time guests for feedback.  You can do this by emailing first-time guests a short survey about their experience and inviting them to provide you with feedback.  In fact, reward them for their feedback with a free gift card or other perk.  It's one of the best investments you can make in your ministry. 

Bring in outside eyes.  The best way is to actually bring in outside eyes to observe your ministry in action.  Partner with another local church in this.  You can observe their ministry in action and provide them with feedback and they can do the same for you.  And when someone from another ministry outside of your area comes to visit your church, ask if they would mind giving you honest feedback about what they saw.  You can also bring in an experienced consultant for the weekend to observe your ministry in action and then provide you with detailed feedback. 

Your turn.  The floor is yours.  What are some other things that cause blind spots?  Do you think it's important to get outside eyes on a ministry?  What are some other ways you do this?  Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.