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There are usually a few common denominators that make churches successful…

As you probably guessed by our name, we’re pretty passionate about helping churches get unstuck. 

Once we start working with a church, it becomes somewhat of a partnership. While we can’t actually do the work the church is setting out to do, we’re praying for the leaders, cheering them on when they’re making progress, and we’re there for support and accountability when change gets hard. We share a mutual goal that the church gets unstuck. 

After all, there’s a lot at stake, and we don’t take that lightly. 

A Way to Measure Success

One of the ways we measure success as a team is through a customer satisfaction tool called the Net Promoter Score (NPS). 

Here’s what NPS means (thanks to this source)—

“The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It is used as a proxy for gauging the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand.” 

Here’s a quick guide to the ranges—

With NPS, you can score anywhere from -100 to 100. Anything less than zero would be considered poor. Anything from zero to 50 would be considered good. Fifty to 70 would be considered excellent. And 70 plus is considered world-class. 

Here at The Unstuck Group, we have a Net Promoter Score of 93 over the last 12 months.

That score is so exciting to us for two reasons. First, the vast majority of churches who brought us in are seeing the results they were hoping to see. And second, that score reflects that they believe The Unstuck Process could help other church leaders. 

As we’ve looked back on this past year, we’re excited about the results we’re seeing in churches. Of course, some are experiencing more growth and change than others, and there are some common reasons for that. 

For churches that are not seeing the results they’re desiring, here are some common challenges: 

  • Fear Is Paralyzing Progress

It’s common to hear, “It’s not you, it’s me” from churches that aren’t making progress. Often these churches know what they need to do, but admit they lack the courage to lean in to those changes. Fear causes them to retreat from the action plans. 

We know change can be intimidating, but there is a level of risk that is required to move any new action forward. 

Change can be intimidating, but there is a level of risk that is required to move any new action forward. Click To Tweet
  • Polity/Governance Issues

When governance structures are too large, too complicated or too involved in ministry decisions, it’s more challenging for the team to work through the process and start achieving wins. And, the more people you have making decisions about what can or can’t happen in ministry, the fewer people you have actually doing ministry. 

Based on some analysis our team did on the difference between growing and declining churches, declining churches have twice as many boards/committees. 

Based on some analysis our team did on the difference between growing and declining churches, declining churches have twice as many boards/committees. Click To Tweet
  • Lack of Follow-Through on the Team

Every church lives in the reality that Sunday is always coming. That “whirlwind” of everyday ministry can easily consume all the time and energy away from new plans and initiatives. It’s easier to do what’s always been done.   

Churches that are not seeing their desired results often struggle with the tyranny of the urgent and have not developed the rhythms to both work in and on the ministry. Without that discipline plans stall out.

Churches that are not seeing their desired results often struggle with the tyranny of the urgent and have not developed the rhythms to both work in and on the ministry. Without that discipline plans stall out. Click To Tweet

SUCCESS WITH THE UNSTUCK PROCESS

On the flip side, for churches that are seeing success, here’s what we see them doing:

  • Commitment to Follow-Through

We know a lot of churches struggle with follow-through. That’s why our process is designed for churches  to see “wins” in the first 90 days. Even if they haven’t been strong in this area in the past, the process helps teams learn planning and execution rhythms, and improve accountability. 

But commitment to follow-through is critical.

The process helps churches create a 12-month action plan that identifies the most important things they want to see changed at the end of one year. To jump start execution, we start with 90-day initiatives to help them start taking steps in the right direction. 

Completing these 90-days initiatives are critical to the big picture. Churches that are precise with deadlines and champion these smaller initiatives always show a high success rate in the long run. 

Every church experiences some hiccups, but persistence and diligence with following-through always proves to win out. 

Healthy and growing churches always have an impressive commitment to follow-through. Click To Tweet
  • Commitment to Change

We don’t shy away from the fact that change is difficult—it is. You will likely upset some people along the way. But change is required to continue to reach people for Jesus. 

While the core message of the gospel remains the same, culture is way different than it was five years ago. Churches that are getting unstuck are holding tightly to the message and their mission, but loosely to their methods. They recognize that how they are doing ministry must change and adapt, and they envision their congregations through the change.  

We don’t shy away from the fact that change is difficult—it is. You will likely upset some people along the way. But change is required to continue to reach people for Jesus. Click To Tweet
  • Commitment to A Healthy, High-Performing Team

Leaders that are leading unstuck churches are committed to both high performance and the health of their teams. In other words, they have clear roles, clear goals and lead their teams in strong execution towards those goals. But they also pay attention to the health and pace of their teams, the diversity of the strengths on their teams and foster a healthy culture.  

By the way, if this last area of healthy, high-performing teams feels like a challenge for you, you’re not alone. In fact, we’ve just created a new process called Unstuck Teams that is specifically designed to help you build a healthy, high-performing team. That could be your starting point.

We want to help you experience a healthy, growing church and we’d love to dive into a conversation about what it would look like for us to partner with your church. 

If you’re interested in learning more about what this experience looks like, check out what a few other churches said about their experience

And if you’d like to talk to one of our team members about the specific challenges you’re facing, let us know

We’re rooting for you in 2020!

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