Breaking Up the Systems

Even a good ministry system will eventually limit what God wants to do if the system doesn’t evolve or totally change. (By system, I mean any program, structure, philosophy, or culture that shapes and helps produce a desired outcome.)

Once people operate within a system long enough, they often start to do ministry out of “muscle memory.” They tend to do the same things and work with the same people, but the results often start to slowly (or quickly) diminish.

Because this is what “we’ve always done,” people might think we just need to do what we did, only better. In reality, God might want you to deconstruct some ministry philosophy or system so you can hear His new direction.

For example, years ago we were doing everything you could think of at Life.Church. God directed us into a season of focusing on only five things. This philosophy served us well for about four years. It allowed us to focus on our core ministries without being distracted by lots of less-than-our-best efforts.

After a few years, it became obvious this season was coming to a close. What used to seem freeing started to become limiting. After prayer, we intentionally broke the established system to learn something new.

What we've learned:

Is there a ministry in your church that has lost its effectiveness? If so, you probably need to break the system. Shake things up—reframe, rebuild, or remove that ministry. Make sure you are focused on excellence instead of just keeping up the status quo.

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