The altimeter, the airspeed indicator, the vertical speed indicator, and the heading indicator. Ask any pilot and they will tell you flying without these instruments, or worse, ignoring what these instruments are telling you would be a recipe for disaster.
As a leader in ministry you also have a “dashboard” of instruments worth paying attention to. Without the readings from these vital ministry instruments, you run a high risk of heading right into ineffectiveness, or worse, disaster.
Here are FIVE ministry instruments you should be paying attention to:
THE STORIES BEACON
What stories are you hearing? Do you hear parents telling you about kids waking them up to come to church? Do you hear about students who took a stand for Jesus at school? Are you hearing of marriages that have been restored or people who reconciled relationships? When you actively look and FIND stories, it can be just the feedback needed to know that your ministry is on course.
If their instruments indicate a problem, a pilot must take immediate action to adjust. As leaders, God has called you to the very same concept.
THE ATTITUDE INDICATOR
Much like its real-world counterpart the attitude indicator for ministry lets you know which way your collective team is pointing. Do you hear and experience negative people who always have an issue with something? Then you might have an attitude problem in your ministry. Adjust now and get your team pointed in the right direction!
THE LIFE CHANGE METER
Do you see and hear of life change? In addition to seeing people begin to follow Jesus, you should also be looking for ongoing life change in the followers of Jesus that are in your ministry. Are they taking steps in their faith journey? Are they growing and becoming more Christ-like? A lack of life change in your team could be (probably is) an issue.
THE GUEST EXPERIENCE COMPASS
What are new guests indicating about your ministry? It is easy to listen to the people that are currently in your ministry. If you aren’t careful, you can become so inward focused that you forget guests are even coming. Instead of only listening to those present, work hard to get feedback from people who have visited or who have just started coming. Often this can be as easy as a phone call! Their feedback can provide valuable insight that can help you stay on course with what God has called you to accomplish.
THE ATTENDANCE INDICATOR
Attendance should be something you measure but it should not be ALL you measure. I’m sure you’ve heard story after story of leaders who only measured attendance and it left them with a spiritually empty ministry. This does not mean that numbers should be ignored completely; instead, give them the appropriate amount of attention in combination with your other ministry indicators.
Your instruments are only as good as you allow them to be. Walk slowly enough through your week to measure accurately and intentionally. Do not miss the important conversations on Sunday morning because you are too busy running from task to task. Do not pack your week so full that you cannot take a reading of the attitude indicator from your last team meeting. As the leader of your team make sure you create a rhythm that allows you to read your instruments regularly.
Once you have the readings, your biggest challenge comes next. What are you going to do about them? If their instruments indicate a problem, a pilot must take immediate action to adjust. As leaders, God has called you to the very same concept. Nehemiah made this type of correction when faced with leaders that were abusing their position and taking advantage of the people. He was bold, he called them on their misalignment and he moved forward (Nehemiah 5:1-13). If an indicator is giving you poor readings for your team, for your relationships, or for your ministry, you need to be a bold leader like Nehemiah and have the hard conversation, make the adjustment, and begin flying in the right direction again.
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