Does One of These Strangleholds Have a Death Grip on Your Ministry?

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strangleholdYou know that "your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing (Andy Stanley)."

You know the well-worn path never arrives at a new destination.

You even know Albert Einstein's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results."

You know all these things.

And at the same're hesitant to try a new strategy (or shut down an ineffective one). Why? You probably need to break free of a stranglehold with a death grip on your ministry.

6 Strangleholds with a Death Grip on Your Ministry

1. The pursuit of problem-free.

This delays more ministry than any other stranglehold. Remember, there are no problem-free strategies, systems or solutions. Every strategy, every system and every solution comes with a set of problems. Wise leaders simply choose the set of problems they'd rather have.

To break free from this stranglehold, make it your practice to actually list the problems that come with each of two or more good solutions. Then choose the problem set you'd rather have. 

See also, The Pursuit of Problem Free.

2. Indecision about the best way.

Obviously, this stranglehold is related to #1. Still, it is motivated differently. If you find yourself stuck even after choosing the set of problems you'd rather have, you are probably dealing with indecision about the best way.

To break free from this stranglehold, add an agreement from the beginning to let the exercise lead to a firm decision.

3. Fear of failure.

Perhaps your culture doesn't allow courageous tries that sometimes miss the mark. I like to think that "Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something." If you only try things that are guaranteed to succeed, you'll never get far enough from the familiar to break new ground.

To break free from this stranglehold work to develop the culture that encourages one experiment per quarter.

4. The lure of compromise.

The scariest steps are often the first steps into a new idea. One of the biggest strangleholds is the last step before a new strategy takes flight. The most powerful aspects are often eliminated because it's too easy to do what's familiar.

To break free from this stranglehold add the power of a group commitment to the first step.

See also, 5 Compromises that Derail Small Group Ministry.

5. Placating the usual suspects.

It's too easy to look the other way while the favorite programs and ministries of insiders (the usual suspects) aren't designed to meet the unconnected people.

To break free from this stranglehold keep the needs of unconnected people squarely in the headlights. Take every opportunity to point them out.

See also, Design Your Connection Strategy with Unconnected People in Mind and The Perils of the Inside Outside Disconnect.

6. The lure of the status quo.

Like the proverbial frog in the kettle, the easiest stranglehold to be captured by is the lure of the status quo. "Isn't the way we're doing it pretty close to good enough?" Change is hard and the thought of the work ahead will cause many to put off what must be done.

To break free from this stranglehold keep the Andy Stanley quote front and center. If you want different (better) results, you must change the design.

See also, Beware the Lure of the Status Quo.


Need help?

How to Diagnose Your Small Group Ministry is one of my most popular mini-courses. You can find out more about it right here.


Image by Airman Magazine

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