Factors for gaining (and keeping) momentum as a church.

I’m thinking a lot about momentum these days. Organizational momentum is a tangible asset that we need to cultivate, foster and steward in our churches.  Watch the first 44 second of this classic Jim Collin’s video to get a sense of what I’m talking about.

Here are some factors that I’ve observed for gaining (and keeping) momentum in your church as we head into this next season.

  • Find small wins.
    • The key to gaining momentum as a church is to find a series of “small wins” to line up.  Are you looking to improve the quality of your weekend experience?  Don’t think about one big thing to change . . . but find something every week that you can improve and fix it. Are you wanting people to invite more friends to your church? You’re going to need a series of experiences that your people will see as positive actually happen before they will invite start to invite their friends. What five small improvements could you make this fall to help gain new momentum? 
  • Forward movement requires daily care.
    • I really do mean daily.  We need to keep our consistent pressure on the development of our organization to really gain momentum.  Great painters are often constantly tweaking their work . . . like 7 days a week . . . rather than short bursts of energy.  Seeing a positive change in our church is going to require a similar focus and intensity. What did you do today to help the momentum?
  • Momentum is gained by inches but lost in miles.
    • It’s a slow uphill battle to gain momentum but when you take the foot off the peddle the momentum can be lost very quickly. I’ve seen this first hand in the churches I’ve led.  We’ll push for months to turn up the volume and interest in people getting engaged with a ministry endeavor but then we go totally silent on this area for a few weeks and we are back to square one.  We have to build bridges from one “season” of momentum building to another “season” of momentum maintance.  If we ramp something up and then have no plan for continuing the focus . . . it will die. Where are you building momentum that you need to plan the next stage to channel that movement?
  • We want momentum … but it’s scary.
    • Seth Godin writes, “Many of us fear too much momentum. We look at a project launch or a job or another new commitment as something that might get out of control. It’s one thing to be a folk singer playing to a hundred people a night in a coffeehouse, but what if the momentum builds and you become a star? A rock star? With an entourage and appearances and higher than high expectations for your next work?… Deep down, this potential for an overwhelming response alerts the lizard brain and we hold back.” Don’t hold back. When it comes to creative execution, the key is to get moving, and keep moving. Why are you afraid that it might actually work and things will really get better at your church?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! What else do we have to think about when it comes to the strategy of gaining and keeping momentum as a church? [Leave a comment (or two) now!]

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