They’re out there. They’re sometimes hard to spot too, so nicely disguised as the truth. And the end of the day, though, these myths are very destructive and impact ministry.
5 Powerful Myths That Impact Ministry
Myth #1: There is a problem-free solution
If we keep looking, keep studying, and meet at least one more time…we’ll find the problem-free solution, the problem-free way to start new small groups (or train new leaders, recruit volunteers, etc.).
The truth? There is no problem-free. Every solution, every strategy, comes with a set of problems. Wise leaders simply choose the set of problems they’d rather have.
In my mind, the pursuit of problem-free is the number one obstacle to effective ministry. The pursuit of problem-free delays more ministry than anything else.The pursuit of problem-free is the number one obstacle to effective ministry. The pursuit of problem-free delays more ministry than anything else. Click To Tweet
See also, The Pursuit of Problem-Free.
Myth #2: We will be more prepared next year
If we wait until next year, we will have laid the necessary foundation for what’s next. We’ll have more trained small group leaders. We’ll have recruited and trained the coaches we need in order to care for a wave of new leaders. We’ll have the organization we need to take assimilate new attendees.
The truth? If it’s true that unconnected people are always one tough thing away from never being at your church again…next year will be too late for many of the unconnected people in your congregation and crowd.If it's true that unconnected people are always one tough thing away from never being at your church again...next year will be too late for many of the unconnected people in your congregation and crowd. Click To Tweet
Myth #3: We don’t have the leaders we need
If we pray harder and pray more consistently, God will send workers for our harvest field. If God had sent the leaders we need it would be obvious. After all, we know what a leader looks like and we’re not seeing anywhere near the number of leader candidates we need.
The truth? In almost every case, God has already sent more than enough potential leaders to our churches. We just don’t know who they are. And, our strategies for identifying leaders aren’t designed for the 21st century when the easiest thing is to park the car, check kids in, and slip into a service that meets my needs and has me back on the road in 75 minutes. If we want to identify, recruit and develop the leaders God is sending…we’ll need some new methods and strategies.Our strategies for identifying leaders aren't designed for the 21st century when the easiest thing is to park the car, check kids in, and slip into a service that meets my needs and has me back on the road in 75 minutes. If we want to identify,… Click To Tweet
Myth #4: That program doesn’t work here
Small groups don’t work here. Church-wide campaigns don’t work here. Externally focused ministry doesn’t work here. Blah. Blah. Blah.
The truth? Churches often believe they know how things work and believe they have tried something and failed, when the truth is they don’t know how it actually works and they’ve only tried an ineffective version of the real thing.
Daniel Boorstin, former Librarian of Congress, said, “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance—it is the illusion of knowledge.”
The way programs are designed has everything to do with how well they work. Or, as Andy Stanley would say, “Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you’re currently experiencing.” Want different results? Change the design.The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge —Daniel J. Boorstin Click To Tweet
See also, Design Your Ministry for Results.
Myth #5: We already know the best way to do this
We’ve been doing this forever and if anyone knows how to do this, it’s us. Go to a conference? Read an article or a book? Visit another church to see how they do it? Hire a consultant of secret shopper? Why?!! We already know the best way to do this.
The truth? The benefit of fresh eyes can be huge! An openness to new ideas or alternate ways of doing things can pay huge dividends.
What do you think? Have a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.
Image by Terence Faircloth