What are your church’s strengths and weaknesses?
Take a few minutes. Sit back. Jot down what you think your church is great at. What are you good at organizationally? What is your congregation gifted at? What do they care about? As a church congregation, what are your strengths?
Now that you have thought about the things you are good at, let’s do the same with your church’s weaknesses. Not your complaints; but what does your church struggle with? Where do you fail as an organization? What do you need to work on as the people of God?
Write these thoughts down. Why? It’s important to step back and think about your church from a broader perspective every once in a while. Now that you have a list of strengths and weaknesses, how does that impact the way you do ministry? How does it inform what you communicate and how you communicate those things?
Monday afternoon I began discussions with First Christian Reformed Church in Barrie, Ontario. We talked about their identity: who makes up the church, what their DNA is as a congregation, and their strengths and weaknesses. We spent the afternoon discussing the values of the church, its mission, vision, and their community. We didn’t even talk yet about setting up a communications plan.
The reason we spent so much time discussing the church’s identity is simple: as staff or leadership, we get stuck in our ways sometimes. We get busy with the day-to-day and forget to take pause every once in a while. It’s easy to get trapped in the daily operations and the impending Sunday services (which seems to come around every seven days, no matter what). We can forget what our church is good at, what we need to work on.
Identifying weaknesses allow us to adapt our ministry plans to address weaknesses. When we know our strengths we can play to them—adjusting what we communicate and how we do ministry to help our congregation make disciples based on what our community of disciples is gifted in.
Last night we held a church communications meetup in Toronto, and this same type of conversation came up over and over again. Maybe not verbatim, but the underlying issue remained consistent. Playing to strengths and recognizing weaknesses helps us to minister better. That impacts who we involve, what our priorities are, and how things get communicated.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your church?