how-to-assess-your-ministrys-health

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What steps have you taken to invest in the health of your ministry?

When we notice an issue in our physical body, we have a couple of choices: We can Google it. We can ask a friend for advice. Or we can call a doctor. The first two options may help us address some of the more obvious symptoms, but they probably won’t help us identify what’s truly going on under the surface.

If we want to get to the bottom of what’s causing the problem, we need to address the symptoms in context, because sometimes the initial presenting symptoms aren’t the real issue. If you treat the symptoms without understanding the underlying cause, the issue could persist for a long time. So when considering a diagnosis, the doctor will take into account things like your family medical history, your bloodwork, and any previous injuries or diagnoses.

It’s only after assessing your history, vital signs, and symptoms that the doctor can provide a diagnosis and develop a customized path to move you back to health. The same process should apply for churches that are stuck.

ministry health assessment

Churches can get stuck in any phase of growth on their way to sustained health. They can also get stuck sliding down the other side of the life cycle, experiencing the pain of ineffectiveness and decline. We all want healthy churches but, for some reason, taking time for a check-up isn’t on most pastors’ list of priorities. Churches are usually experiencing painful symptoms by the time they engage us to help, when regular check-ups could have prevented major health failures.

Our mission is to help churches get unstuck. That’s why, just like a doctor would, we begin our process with a thorough assessment of where the ministry is at today by taking into account the history, metrics, and unique wiring of each church. It’s only after this assessment that we can begin to clarify the vision God’s given you for the future and develop the unique structure and customized action plans needed to see it through. 

Get an honest answer to the question, “How are we doing?”

The same strategies and the same structures that work in one church will not work in every church. Likewise, the solution for one church’s stuckness will not be the same solution for every church’s stuckness. That’s why wise planning begins with an honest assessment of where you are now. An outside perspective and some objective metrics are invaluable allies in getting a clear picture. 

Our Unstuck Health Assessment has four key components:

  1. We dig into the ministry’s story.We begin by hearing from your church staff as they share the story: What has God done in the life of your church since the beginning? What were the defining moments of your journey related to vision, ministry, reach, attendance, staff and finances? What has lead to health, or stuckness, for your church in the past? This exercise helps us clarify how the church got to where it is today.
  2. We analyze the objective health metrics.
    We use two objective assessment tools to help clarify the picture of where you are today: The  Vital Signs Assessment and Unstuck Church Assessment. These tools draw data benchmarks from assessments taken by hundreds of churches across the country to help you pinpoint where your church is in its lifecycle today. We also unpack 16 key metrics that give an unbiased snapshot of the ministry’s overall health.
  3. We help you experience your church like a first-time guest.Do you know what it’s really like for a guest who attends your church for the first time? Once you see what an unchurched person sees, you can’t “unsee” it. Before the health assessment begins, your ministry consultant will attend your weekend service as a “Secret Shopper” and provide a detailed report that evaluates the experience from start to finish—from your website, to your signage, to your worship service. 
  4. We help you identify your church’s unique opportunities.Your team comes together to analyze what’s healthy and what’s stuck in the ministry from their individual points of view. This facilitated group time reveals strengths and challenges in your ministry that metrics may not have shown. Together, you start building the list of opportunities your church must consider as you move forward.

An honest health assessment provides a fresh perspective of the past and vision for the future.

While some aspects may sound painful, the process is actually encouraging and energizing—even for very stuck churches. In fact, many pastors leave the assessment and tell us, “Thanks for helping confirm what I’ve been feeling all along.” Learn more about the full Unstuck Process and how your church can start achieving wins in the first 90 days.

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. Started in 2009, The Unstuck Group has served 500 churches throughout the United States and several countries around the world. Previously, Tony served on the senior leadership teams of three rapidly growing churches including NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has five published books including, The Unstuck Church, and, with Amy Anderson, he hosts The Unstuck Church Podcast which has thousands of listeners each month.

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