We all do it.
All leaders, including church leaders, default to justification at times. Daunting obstacles push us to create narratives to explain being stuck. Those stories come in 3 common types.
Victim stories – This is the story where your church is the victim and can’t get ahead. “We would be great if we had more money.” “If we had a facility like they do we’d do more.” We are too small to pull that off.” Our narrative says there is no point in trying because we can’t win.
Villain stories – We tell ourselves that insidious forces prevent us from doing what we should, so we trot out a list of trusty villains. That mega-church is stealing our people. The schools undermine Christian values. Or maybe it’s government regulation, the denomination, or “bad people” who ruin your impact on the community. Others are to blame.
Helpless stories – There is a problem and you feel powerless. So we tell ourselves, “The only option is to compromise like those successful churches.” “There is nothing we can do to stop families from leaving.” Or my favorite, “It is just too hard for us.”
It’s all lies. And worse, these are lies we invent to justify doing nothing. But you do have a choice.
You can choose to fix what you do control. You can’t change everything but everyone can change one thing.
- You can repair that wall (bathroom, carpet, bench, etc) that looks bad.
- Your musicians can learn from others
- You can choose to get better at what you do very well
- You can get teachers to help your children’s ministry be more engaging
- You can move your friendliest volunteers to the greeting team
- You can widen the leadership circle so you get more diverse input
- You can serve a local community or ministry consistently
Most churches can’t do all of these, but every church can do one. Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” You have a choice.
Jesus’ church will thrive eventually because He said the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. (Matt. 16:18). Villains are not oppressing you, just people doing what they think is right. Find common ground or go around. Jesus has overcome (1 Jn 4:4).
And you are not helpless. Jesus can and does build his kingdom and he can do it through your church.
So you have a choice. The question is, will you lead or give into stories?
Should you need help to get unstuck, take one step now and schedule a free appointment with Church Accomplished to see if we can help.
* Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net