Nov 24, 2021

Learning From Other Ministries

If you want to improve your ministry, then be committed to learning from other ministries. 

If you are intentional about it, there is something you can learn from other ministries. No matter what the size of the ministry, there is something that you can pick up.  

Some of my best ministry ideas are ones that I got from other ministries. 

Here's an example.  I was at a church in Canada a few years back.  I was asking them how they followed up with guests.  The children's pastor told me they have their guest services team write out personal notes to the guests they have checked in that day.  They make the note personal and welcoming.  It's a brilliant idea and so I implemented it in our ministry.  It helped us make a big impact with new families. 

Every time you are visiting another ministry, ask to see their children's ministry environments.  If you look closely enough, you will be able to pick up some ideas for your ministry.  

Here's some things to remember when it comes to learning from other ministries.

No matter how long you've been in children's ministry and no matter how much experience you have, stay teachable.  Don't write off a ministry that is smaller or less influential than yours.  There is something you can learn from every ministry you come in contact with. 

Ask lots of questions.  When you are interacting with another ministry, ask questions about how they operate, do ministry, etc.  

Go visit other ministries.  When was the last time you went to another ministry on a Sunday morning to observe and get ideas?  Visit the other churches in your area.  Jump on a plane when it is feasible and fly to observe a ministry that is reaching and discipling kids and families.  Write down notes from what you observe.

Some of the best ideas I have gotten didn't come from a conference, but rather from a ministry I visited.

Call successful ministries and ask them questions about what is working for them, what is not working for them, what has been a big win for them recently, etc.  

Meet for lunch with other ministries in your area.  Make time to learn from each other.

Remember, ministry is not a competition...it is a collaboration.  We are all on the same team and our captain is Jesus.  We are stronger together.  Ideas are not meant to be hidden, they are meant to be shared.  Don't worry about who gets the credit for the idea. 

Be open to change.  As you learn from other ministries, there will be times when you have to decide if you are going to make a change or not.   Don't get stuck in the past...doing ministry the same way you've always done it.  Remember, the last 3 letters of TREND are END.  When you learn from other ministries you are forced to make a decision to move forward with the ideas and strategies you have gotten or to just keep doing what you've always done.

I had the privilege of being on the same church staff as John Maxwell for 9 years.  One week, he shared with us about a big change he made.  Over the course of his ministry, he had accumulated thousands of ideas, stories, insights, illustrations, etc. to use in his talks. They were arranged by topic.  It gave him the ability to quickly find ideas for the talks he brought.  

One day, he realized just how much he depended on all of those notes and ideas he had compiled over decades of speaking and writing.  He knew he needed something fresh and more relevant in his talks, sermons, books, etc. 

He hired some men to come to his house and here is what he told them. 

"I want you to take all of the speaking files out of these storage cabinets and I want you to take them somewhere and trash them.  When you return, I may try to talk you into getting them back for me.  Don't listen to me.  Don't tell them where they are.  I have to get rid of them."

He did this because he knew he needed some fresh ideas and insight.  It was time to reboot his commitment to learning new things.

Bring in outside eyes so you can get fresh perspective and insights.  After awhile, we become very familiar and comfortable with our ministry.  And that leads to blind spots which can hinder your ministry from growing and reaching people. 

One of the best things you can do to prevent this, is to bring in an experienced leader who can help you identify and fix your blind spots.  I can do this for you.  I have over 32 years of experience and have helped build and lead some of the largest ministries in the nation.  Each year, I help leaders and ministries find their blind spots and fix them. 

You can get more info. about bringing me to your ministry by visiting this link.  I do on-site and online assessments and planning with you.  I can help your ministry get to the next level.  No matter what size your church is, I can work within your budget to help you. 

What is 2022 going to look like for you?  Will it be the same old same old again?  Will it be year of growth or a year of stagnation?  

If you want it to be a banner year, then be committed to learning from other ministries.  

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