6 Times When Your Church Needs to Change Its Strategy

The vision of your church will always stay the same … usually it has something to do with reaching people and helping them grow in their faith. The strategy will mostly stay the same over the years because you build organizational momentum through consistently executing the same strategy. However, there are times when you need to shift and change the strategy … you need to head in a new direction to reach your vision as a church. How do you know when it’s time to change direction? Here are some times that I’ve seen the need to make a course correction in the way we “do church”:

  • lightbulb_clearA Revelation // Leading in a church is fundamentally a spiritual enterprise. At our core we are called to listen to what the Father is telling us as we lead and act upon that. There are times when we believe that God is calling us change direction and so we should! Some of the most fruitful times in my ministry career have come out of this sort of course correction. Listen closely … then act.
  • Team Change // Every time the make up of your team changes it’s an opportunity to think about whether your strategy should change as well. Every staff member and key volunteer leader in you church uniquely contributes to the ability to execute your strategy and so when the people change you need to think about a potential change. Did the team member contribute in a way that needs to be covered for? Does this opening create space to move the organization in a new way?
  • It’s Time to Double Down // When things are going right with a department in your church … and you believe that if you direct more resources to that area you will see even more impact … change the strategy to make it happen! As leaders we are constantly making resource allocation decisions and sometimes we need to adjust to make sure that those areas making the most impact get the most resources.
  • Your Team Has Gone Stale // Have you ever come to a place where your team has gone from being “in the groove” to “stuck in a rut”? Has the repetitive nature of our work moved your team into a place where they seem to be reacting in routine manner rather than with the passion and energy they once did?  This is a perfect time to make a strategy change. It will force your team to look at your ministry in a new like and shake things up!
  • More Alibis Than Action // Related to the last point … are there more excuses about why things aren’t getting done than action with your team? Does it seem like the team is more worried about internal politics and covering up than fulfilling the vision of your church? Shake up the strategy to move the team to place where they are focusing on your desired outcome.
  • Technology or Systems Shift // The technology and systems we use does impact the way we think about church leadership. In the early days of the multisite church movement we were responding to the fact that video projectors where falling in cost and so that allowed us to even think about video venues. Keep on the look out for technology improvements that could impact the way you accomplish the vision!


  1. Great article. I like bullet 3 & 4. Going stale is so easy especially when things are going well. This coming week we have few things happening: We have a booth at a local Cultural Arts Fair, we’ll be handing out candy and info about commonground. Sunday after service we are conducting free health screenings-we are partnered with University of Texas San Antonio-this will be the launch of an ongoing health life group at CG.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.