Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The BIG College Ministry Decision....Change in Your Ministry

Have you ever considered a huge change in your ministry? Have you ever made a huge decision that affected the whole direction, method or style of your ministry? I tend to be an incremental or developmental change person...adjust...tweak. I have seen too many ministries swing the pendulum from one direction to another from one year to the next. When or how do you make a decision to make a BIG change?

I recently read an article from a College Minister quoting a student who said he had dropped out of a College Ministry because they would not let the students make changes. The writer said the leaders of that ministry had been too worried about what their supervisors might say or whether the staff would lose their jobs, if they let the students make the change.

I don't know all the circumstances involved.....but, I am not on board with the idea that students should have the final word in big change to the ministry.

Students MUST be listened to continually and their thoughts and ideas incorporated into the ministry decisions. But, they are not the ones who must live with the decision and consequences long term. So, how do you decide to make a BIG change in your ministry?

Several years ago I began to think and pray about changing our weekly schedule and replacing a large group Bible study I led with a Freshmen Night made up of Freshmen Bible study groups, large group worship led by a freshman band and some fun events. I talked to our large student leadership team about it....asked their thoughts. They were mostly opposed. I indicated we would discuss it over the next few weeks and then, I would make a decision. We discussed it in our large group worship. At the end of the few weeks of discussion and some prayer, I decided to make the change. Some students said, how could I ignore what they said. I told them I had not ignored, but had considered carefully what they said. But, that I was making the decision I thought best.

At that time, I led a large group Bible study on Monday night and we had a large group worship all student led on Thursday might. I asked them to vote whether or not to continue the worship as totally student led or to somehow incorporate the Bible study I led into the large group worship or leave it as is. They voted to incorporate my Bible study into it.

Our ministry boomed as a result of adding the Freshmen Night.....but, I didn't know for sure that would happen. It was the single best decision I ever made in our ministry.

So, how do you decide to make a BIG change?
-Time....let the thoughts simmer...just like pastors should not resign on Monday!
-Seek input from a large variety.
-Be honest about the reasons for a possible change.
-Realize once you make the change, you likely can never go back to the way it was.
-Are you willing to live with the long term consequences?
-Are you willing to "bet the ministry as it now exists" on that change?
-Are you willing to take full responsibility for the change?

How do you decide to make a big change

No comments:

Post a Comment