THE UNSTUCK PROCESS

Most organizations start, grow, thrive, lose momentum, decline & eventually end. We believe God desires every church to live out its purpose at the pinnacle of sustained health.

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.

Our mission is to help churches get unstuck.

church-life-cycle
From our data, we’ve found 80% of churches self-identify on the right side of the life cycle, with the vast majority sitting in Maintenance Phase.

When something is unhealthy in your life, you stop to assess what’s going on.

A doctor may give you a standard series of tests but will ultimately view the results through a lens of experience and wisdom to help you outline your next steps—the path that will help you see the vision you have for your life come into reality.

That can be a good metaphor for this process. It will help you:

  • assess your ministry’s health today

  • clarify the vision God’s given you for the future

  • create the structure and action plans to see it through

We guide your team and coach your executive leaders through this process in four phases.

The Unstuck Process

choose on-site or virtual sessions for your church’s experience

At the end of this process, you have a comprehensive, customized ministry plan, and the structure and systems to help you execute. You’re responsible for putting the plan into action, but we help provide accountability and coaching your senior leaders along the way.

PHASE 1: ASSESS

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.

How are we doing?

The “win” for the Ministry Health Assessment is that your team gets a fresh perspective on where you have been, where you are now, and where your church may be stuck. That insight sets you up for effective strategic planning.

There are four primary components to this phase of the process:

During the Ministry Health Assessment, your team shares the story—what God has done in the life of your church since the beginning, and the defining moments of your journey related to vision, ministry, reach, attendance, staff and finances.

We use two objective assessment tools to help clarify the picture of where you are today: The Unstuck Group’s Vital Signs Assessment and Unstuck Church Assessment. These tools, which draw data benchmarks from assessments with hundreds of churches, help you pinpoint where your church is in its lifecycle today, as well as unpack 16 metrics that give an unbiased snapshot of the ministry’s overall health.

No metric alone tells the whole story, but when processed against the backdrop of your story, your church gains a clearer perspective.

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.

One of our ministry consultants will help you gain a better understanding by experiencing your weekend service through the eyes of an unchurched member of your community. There’s no “gotcha” moment here. In addition to helping you see what needs to be improved, we take care to point out the areas where the guest experience is strong and effective.

Your consultant provides a report of observations with scoring to help you see how your church benchmarks in key areas. The consultant will share a few wins and opportunities while onsite with the team, but we keep feedback on ministry areas owned by specific individuals out of group discussion settings. The final report will be unpacked with the lead pastor at a more detailed level after the visit.

Your team comes together to analyze what’s healthy and what’s stuck in the ministry from their individual points of view. This group discussion 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 the process moves forward.

PHASE 2: PLAN

Why work on your ministry strategy and build action plans? Because when you make vision actionable, you can empower people to play their parts.

Where are we going?

The win for the Planning Retreat is that you define a 5-Year Vision with measurable goals and a clear path forward for action. We get you executing and achieving wins in the first 90 days.

There are nine core components to this phase of the process:

During the Planning Retreat, you revisit the foundation. Starting with Scripture and a focused time of prayer, your team will reflect on your purpose and the biblical bedrock for why you exist as a church.

Leveraging our curated report on the demographics of your specific community, you will clarify exactly who is in your mission field—the people living where God has placed your church. Through a series of facilitated discussions, you’ll identify who you believe God has called you to reach, what’s important to them, and how your church will respond.

Your team will find common language to answer the question “What is a disciple?” as well as a shared understanding of how your church will help people take their next steps towards Christ.

Through this exercise, you will determine the 3-4 core growth engines of your church—the ministries, events and/or strategies that help you grow your Kingdom impact and reach more people. You will identify a champion for each growth engine and map a plan for next steps to grow your reach.

Your team will shape a clear and specific vision for where you believe God is calling the church to be five years from now.

You will identify 3-5 key behaviors you need reflected on your team to drive the culture you are trying to create within the church. This exercise will help set the foundation for the Structure Phase of the process.

We’ll help you create a ministry health dashboard to monitor key vital signs (metrics), track the culture-shaping behaviors and monitor progress on priority objectives.

We’ll help you break down everything that needs action to accomplish the future vision. Then, we’ll help you prioritize the three action steps you need to make over the next three months.

In this part of the process, we assist you in developing a regular 90-Day Action Plan rhythm, so that you begin creating greater accountability for follow-through. This helps you teach your team how to execute on quarterly cycles.

Your plans will likely involve the need to lead your congregation through some significant changes. We provide coaching for your leaders and share best practices as you begin implementing your plan.

PHASE 3: STRUCTURE

In Scripture, we see that God intends for us to serve alongside other people who complete the Body. A well-rounded leadership team, in roles aligned to the strategy, creates a healthier ministry.

Who does what?

The win for the Staffing & Structure Review is that you structure your staff to accomplish the vision. With an effective structure, you position your ministry team to execute at its highest potential.

This phase of the process involves seven key elements:

Prior to our visit, your leaders will complete a strengths assessment that reveals the unique gifts and personalities you have on your team. Onsite, we facilitate a group session to share insights on your team’ strengths related to problem-solving, processing info, managing change and facing risk. You’ll also get a good visual depicting where strengths gaps exist.

This part of the process helps you understand more about how God’s wired you and your teammates, and how to better work together as a group. Churches routinely tell us this session was a staff favorite.

Lack of clarity around decision-making frustrates leaders, slows progress in critical areas, and causes an undercurrent of strain between teammates. This exercise will help your team understand the seven ways decisions can be made and clarify how your team will operate going forward.

Your staff complete an anonymous survey in advance on the strengths and challenges of the team. In the group session, you find agreement on 4-5 issues to prioritize for bringing greater health and alignment to your ministry.