The Heart of the Matter

We’ve picked our party and we’ve focused our team, now it’s time for some hard work.

Like getting the candidate together with his spouse and close friends, the leadership team needs to sit around a table with a marker board — preferably paper that can be saved.

The team needs to outline what it feels are the church’s strengths and weaknesses. Now, this is one area I think our Vision Planners program got it wrong. I think, instead of just a blanket strengths and weaknesses table, we need to divide up. First, do the spiritual strengths and weaknesses of the church — the s/w that outsiders could not really see, e.g. is your church weak in faith, does it have a poor prayer habit, it there a hurt or anger in the church, is it powerful at prayer, is the church extremely friendly, etc. Once the spiritual s/w are done, do the physical s/w — the s/w that outsiders could easily see, e.g. choir, building, sunday school program, etc.

Let everybody chime in. Don’t let anybody be shouted down. This is not the time for disagreement. Get every strength and every weakness on paper. Once that is done, weed out those things the group thinks are duplicates and then open it up for debate. Someone may really feel like something is a weakness while others disagree. Have some debate and see if minds are changed. If you are split fairly evenly, you might want to keep the s or w. If only one or two find it to be a weakness, remind him of A Message to Garcia and encourage him to think about what could be done to turn the weakness to a strength or what can be done to flesh out the strength for others to see.

No church revitalization will ever be effective without an honest discussion and breakdown of strengths and weaknesses. Go no further until you have done this step.

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Erick Erickson

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