HOW TO MULTIPLY YOUR CHURCH GROWTH THROUGH MARKETING!

Being a church planter I know what it is like to need to connect with people and build your church.  I also know what it is like to have very little funds to market and advertise yourself.  But here is the kicker you don’t need large advertising dollars to grow your church and to get your name out there.  At the time of writing this we are less than 4 years old and when we started we had 21 people on our launch team. Since then we have grown to over a thousand people calling Bloom their church and I haven’t spent any money advertising our church except for online.  No mailers, no radio, no television, and no billboards. We live in a day in age where social media if used right is the easiest way to connect with people in their homes and grab their attention in ways no other medium has been able to do!

So let us look at how you can do that as we dive into some do’s and don’ts when it comes to using social media!

  1. BE YOURSELF! Nothing is more damaging than trying to be something you are not online.  Many churches think that they must be “cool” to reach this next generation and to grow their church so they copy the style of other churches that they think are “cool” and brand themselves that online.  The problem here is when people attend your church you look nothing like that in real life and that is called false advertisement. The goal is to build a community not have guest flood through your doors never to come back.  Many times this happens because a Pastor will put a young person in charge of social media and they post what they personally like not what is aligned with the identity of their church. What we don’t realize is people don’t want “cool” they want “authentic” they want to connect with something that is really where they can see our real hearts and passions for Jesus and this world.  I love Rick Warren but I venture to say that not many people have ever confused Rick with being hip, yet his church is filled with young people.  Why is that? Because Rick is extremely authentic and when Rick speaks you know he cares!  Authenticity is the only thing that builds trust and trust is what builds loyalty.  So just be you!
  2. QUIT SELLING YOURSELF.  Become a voice online that people want to listen to not ignore.  So many organizations online only see social media as a selling platform and not as a way to connect with people and invest in people.  Social media is not a place that you advertise yourself 24/7.  It is not the yellow pages, it is not craigslist, and it is not an announcement board.  It is literally your fist opportunity to build a relationship with someone, pour into their lives, and see that relationship go from online to in person.  If we can understand that then we start producing content that reflects that.  Create content that encourages people, inspires people, makes people laugh, and gives people hope.  Make content people want to see and want to share because it is meaningful to them.  Now I am not saying that you should never advertise something, but I am saying for every post that is an “ask” there needs to be 3 to 5 posts that are “gives” where you are giving them meaningful content!
  3. BE CONSISTENT. Social media is not a quick game!  It takes time and commitment and you must be committed for the long haul. People slowly start following you and it slowly starts growing, but when it does it gets faster and faster.  Most people quit after several weeks, but it is like anything of value it takes discipline to go the distance.  Also, you need to be posting regularly.  Now some people will tell you there is some magic formula that you need to post “x” amount of times a day at these exact times.  I have found that every community is different and so we try to post 1 to 2 times a day on average.  Some days may be more, but that is a good goal to shoot for and if you go on your Facebook page under analytics you can get a break down of what times your post are viewed the most to help you know when to post!
  4. BE VISUAL. Post things that are visually appealing.  Post pictures and videos.  Make the majority of your content something that catches people eyes. Make sure you are posting pictures of your people.  Studies have shown that we will naturally look at a post with people in them more than post without.  Post pictures of your people doing church, highlight a volunteer of the week, post about a small group, worship, greeters, a picture with of the pastor with a sermon quote, etc… These are great visuals that allow people to get a first look at your church without ever visiting which causes them to become more comfortable when they do come. Facebook live or do quick videos of the Pastor sharing a bit about his message coming up or a quick story about a win that has happened in the church.  This is the perfect place to show a broad audience who you are as a church community.
  5. CHECK-INS ARE GOLD!  Every week we make it a point to say from the stage “make sure you check-in online to let all your friends and family know that Bloom is the place to be on Sundays”. We have had more people come to our church based on seeing a check-in than probably anything else.  Seeing a check-in is basically seeing a referral from people that you know and trust.  Think about it this way when you are on Facebook and you see one of your friends’ check-in somewhere and talk about their experience what is first instinct.  You click on that page to see what it is all about for yourself.  That is free advertising and if you have been producing quality content then they are going to like what they see and that will get them to follow your page.  If they follow your page long enough and your post keeps investing in them then that follow will turn into a visit.  Check-ins are gold!
  6. TOOLS. Let me give some quick tools to leave you with.
    *First thing you need to do is download the WordSwag app.  Most peoples complaint is that they cannot create good graphics and WordSwag is the perfect tool to create content fast and easy for social media.  There are so many tools that a beginner can use now that just didn’t exist 5 to 10 years ago.  There is also website like canva.com to help you create all sorts of graphics for your church.
    *Boost posts on Facebook.  We try to boost a post on Facebook about every 2 to 3 weeks to get past the Facebook algorithm that limits your posts reach.  So we will boost a compelling video, huge event, powerful sermon quote that goes out to all our followers and their friends.  This allows us to expand our reach and we also gain new followers.
    *Ask questions.  Conversations should be had online so make posts periodically that asks questions for your followers to respond to.  What is your favorite worship song, bible story, Christmas movie, etc…. Conversations make people feel more involved.
    *Respond to comments and messages quickly.  Be involved in the conversation and always interact when people are taking their time to interact with you!
    *Lastly visit the pages of other healthy churches to get an idea of the content they are producing and then use that as an inspiration to know what type of content to build to reflect your church.

We truly do live in a great time when our ability to get our message out is easier than ever and when we can build a platform that can reach more people than ever before.  Get online, post valuable content, be patient, and watch your platform start to grow!

If you have any questions about social media comment below and also I would love to hear about any of your social media “wins” your organization has experienced!

YOUR GREATEST MARKETING TOOL

marketing-toolI would probably say that the #1 question most pastors or church planters ask me is “how do I get the word out about our church?” or “how do we get more people to come to our church?” and for good reasons. Marketing your organization or product is a huge priority for any business and that includes for the church because if people don’t know you exist it doesn’t matter how great your services are…They aren’t coming!

We have to spread the word about what we are doing and we should want to because we should be excited about what we are a part of.  The problem is most people go about marketing all the wrong ways and spend WAY TOO MUCH money on advertising that just simply doesn’t have the ROI for the capital it costs.

Nine years ago, the world changed when apple literally took a computer and put it in your pocket in the form of a phone.  Never in a million years did we think it would be possible this soon to have a computer with internet connection carrying around with you where ever you go.  In this moment the death of traditional advertising started to happen.  Advertising and marketing had always been very costly and with this new creation, why spend it on those means anymore?  Radio? What is that— we have Spotify, Pandora, and Podcasts.  Newspapers, ummm, we get our news online…  Billboards, who even looks up from their phones these days?  The world has changed and we must understand this shift or we will be spinning our wheels and watching our organizations continue to plateau and decline.

So where should we sit in this new world of connections and what should be our focus? The answer is easy, but the response is something that takes much more effort.  We live in an ecosystem that no longer wants to be sold, but connected and inspired and this is the beauty of social networks.  They are platforms thats soul purpose is to connect and give you, the organization, the ability say whatever you want.  Now, that can be dangerous or empowering and it is completely up to you which of those paths you take.  You have the ability to connect with people; that would be impossible before. You have that ability to add value to their life in ways that were much more difficult a decade ago. Coming from a Pastors stand point, our job is not to gather large crowds, but to see lives changed for Jesus and that means we should use any tool at our disposal to add value to people.  The great thing is when you connect with people, add value, share your story, and inspire then you also see the growth in your physical location following the growth that is taking place online.

My next posts I want to talk about “HOW” we do social media effectively, but today I just wanted to discuss “WHY” we need to have an online presence.

So some “Next Steps” for you to work on until our next posts…

  1. If you haven’t already, create accounts on the different social networks.  For most churches the two I tell everyone to focus on are Facebook and Instagram.  There are several you can choose from, but I would rather be really effective on a few platforms than “okay” on several platforms.  Also these two platforms have the widest reach for your community.  Build a business Facebook page, not a personal Facebook page for your organization.  Facebook is the largest social media site and hits the most age demographics. Next create an Instagram profile.  Instagram is great for organizations because most people are very visually driven and in doing so we digest the content more. Instagram allows all posts to be seen by its followers unlike the Facebook algorithms.  Instagram also has created features that look a feel like Snapchat in many ways and unlike Snapchat it is much easier to search for profiles which make finding your page much more accessible.
  2. Now you need to make sure your information is up to date on all your platforms.  The right profile pictures, web addresses, physical addresses, and service times.  It is a big turn off when information is not updated or incorrect.
  3. Make sure your branding stays consistent.  Your branding, your design look, needs to be the same at your physical location, on your website, and on all your social sites.  It is extremely confusing when these things do not line up because people question whether it is the same organization, and if it is, then they start wondering why there is no harmony.  I am going to dive into this more on the next posts, but don’t brand yourself online what you are not in person.  BE YOU because if you try to act like you are something online that you are not really in person then when they visit they will immediately have red flags go up and completely miss your heart.
What are your thoughts on how much our culture has changed over the last decade when it comes to Marketing and advertising?

MARRIED TO THE VISION

As a leader God has placed a vision in your heart that is unique to you personally, to your church, and a vision that is effective to reach your community.  That vision is the “WHY” that drives your organization.  It is the reason why people get out of their beds early to serve, why they give to their church, and why they tell their friends and family about the church they love so much.  They understand what their church is uniquely about and not only that but they have personally experienced it!

Vision is like the gas in the engine of your organization.  Yes you have the tangible elements of the mission, systems, staff, and structure, but none of those things are going to get you very far without the fuel that is the vision.  The reality is people do not rally around service times, they do not rally around buildings, and sadly they rarely rally around the directions of the writers of the Bible.  But they do rally around a vision that takes those things and clearly explains why we do what we do and how that impacts real people in our communities.  That is the vision that God has placed in your heart as the leader.  That is the fuel to get the engine of your organization running and to keep it going.  That is the “WHY” that people rally behind and sacrifice for.

Unfortunately most leaders over time forget the importance of their mission and start focusing more and more on the engine and less and less on the fuel.  They allow modifications to take place that have nothing to do with where they are going and allow outside hands to tweak the organization in ways that suite them personally, but doesn’t benefit the organization moving forward.  The greatest understanding a leader must have is this.  We are married to the vision God has given our church and we never cheat on that vision under any circumstances! Too many leaders are unfaithful to their vision and that single thing is what is killing their organization more than anything else.  They are creating a culture of infidelity when it comes to the vision of their church where anything goes. If we know anything it is that an affair strains a relationship more than anything else because it rocks trust to its core and without trust people will not sacrifice in ways that an organization needs for it to succeed.

Now as leaders we don’t cheat on the vision intentionally, but what happens is we start to focus more on the tangibles of our present and less on what we are building and where are we going.  So we start letting things like money dictate our decisions, talent run the show, and strong personalities have a deciding opinion even though it is contrary to our vision.  We are scared that if we say “no” that they will dismantle our engine and leave us broke down on the side of the road. What we don’t realize is we are already broke down because we have no fuel we are just distracted by all their modifications that are just a false sense of progress.

So where do we go from here so that we can be 100% committed to the vision God has given us?  Here are three things to help us move forward:

1. Physically write out your vision.

You have to clearly state why you do what you do.  How can you stay faithful to something you don’t even know what that something is?  Gray areas are organizational killers! We must simplify and clarify what we are about as an organization. Before you do anything else block out time in your schedule to figure out your vision!  You can also read my post here to help you clarify your vision.

2. Physically write out your “HOW”.

Now that you know your vision you need to figure out “HOW” you are going to achieve that vision.  This needs to be what your organization does and you need to keep it simple.  No more than 4 or 5 things.  A healthy church cannot be a ministry buffet and have more events going on than the event center  in your city.  You have to write out only what you are about, how you will achieve that, and build from there.  Maybe start extremely small and grow from there.  Like we are only going to focus on our Sunday service for the next 6 months until that is solid and then add the next step.  But simplifying your “HOW” keeps the vision clear and your people unified.

3. Your vision becomes your litmus test.

Everything is ran under the filter of your vision.  Every idea, every ministry, every opportunity, every lead team member, every staff member, etc…. If it doesn’t marry seamlessly with your vision then it is a no go.  That sounds harsh, but unnecessary modifications just mess up your gas mileage and keep you from going the distance that you were created to go!

4. Be willing to lose people.

You will lose people when you say no! Brace yourself and expect it, but you are losing people that are not helping but hurting the organization.  We as leaders have to be ok with losing a few to gain many.  The reality is that the people you lose need to find a church with a vision that they can rally around just as much as you need people to rally around your vision.  In losing people you are actually benefiting them and yourself because a healthy organization is not a forced relationship.  When we lose people that are not sold out our vision the mood rises, the growth starts happening, and the momentum takes off!

I would love to hear your thoughts below…. What are the biggest compromises that hurt your organizations vision?

Failure is NOT a Bad Word!

Failure is a word that is wrapped with so many negative connotations.  We grow up being told that failure is the WORST thing possible. You “FAILED” your class! You are nothing but a “FAILURE”! You “FAILED” me! Growing up with these descriptions being ingrained into our DNA there is no wonder why we run from failure and stay as far away from it as possible.

Unfortunately our fear of failure actually creates the very thing that we are trying to avoid.  We “FAIL” to become what we could because we don’t let “FAILURE” stretch us towards our potential.  Here is what you must understand… You will make mistakes and you cannot let them turn into regrets because the reality is they are actually possibilities. 

Our mistakes are just opportunities for us to learn from the past and confidently step into the next phase of our journey with more knowledge of where we are going.

Our mistakes also stretch us beyond our comfort zones.  Brad Lomenick said it best in his book H3 Leadership, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Choose courage over comfort”.  We never truly reach our potential as individuals and as an organization unless we are willing to get out of our own heads, face our fears, and courageously try new things.

As leaders it is our responsibility to champion this type of thinking and encourage our team to step out of the box and try new things.  What is the worst that can happen?  Really? You may take a few step backs, but that is just giving you a running start!

My biggest fear is that I will let my success of today be my demise of tomorrow because I let the comfort of familiarity hold me back from moving forward.  Now I don’t mean that you should change everything, but I do believe as a team you need to ask yourselves a few honest questions.

1. What is not working?
What is just not working in your organization or your church? What takes up a lot of time, but you are not really seeing the fruit of the investment? What feels stale or old?  What are you just not excited about? Or what is a major hole or opportunity you are missing?  Be completely honest and allow that from your team.

2. What is something I want to try, but I am nervous about?
What is an idea you have been mulling around that you want to step out in faith to do, but for some reason or another you won’t pull the trigger?  Maybe it’s a teaching element in your services, maybe starting a blog, maybe a financial or a marriage campaign, maybe restructuring some systems or programs, maybe adding another campus, maybe a video series, or maybe it is adding a staff member.  As a leader we must be thinking of whats next and sometimes we have step out of our comfort even when we feel nervous.  Now I am not saying to blindly pull the trigger and hope for the best, but I am saying that staying put and never moving forward eventually leads to a declining organization!

3. Who are you empowering?
Are you giving your team the authority and the confidence that they can run their departments successfully or are you micromanaging and hovering over your team?  When someone is always watching you and waiting for you to fail it demoralizes you and you will always live up to those expectations.  However, when someone gives you their support and they express how much they believe in you it builds a confidence and resolve that is priceless.  I tell my team all the time to take a risk and go for it because what is the worst that can happen?  Maybe we fail, but in that we learn from our mistakes and we lead our teams through it.  Leaders take problems and turn them into solutions and when you express that kind of support in your people they will always rise above the challenge!

Failure is not a bad word and stretching yourself is the only way to grow.  So start growing, start learning, and realize a failure is just a step in the right direction when you have the right mindset!

 

It is ALL in the DETAILS!

I don’t know many leaders that do not desire growth in their organizations and I definitely don’t know any Pastors that do not desire for their churches to grow.  However, as leaders many times we focus on the wrong things that we think are holding us back from that growth.

We live in the “if we had” mindset that robs us of our potential and our growth…
If we had that equipment…
If we had that budget…
If we had this staff position filled…
If we had that building…
If we had their graphics…
If we had their location…

Yes, would these things be awesome and would they help your organization… You better believe they would, BUT not having those things is NOT the reason your organization is failing to grow.  The reason that most organizations struggle is because they are so consumed on their “if we had” check list that they ignore everything they already have.  They are so concerned with the Big need that they neglect all the details that are currently impeding their health as an organization.

This is stewardship 101 straight from the mouth of Jesus! “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” Luke 16:10

I can promise you one thing that if the details are ignored everything else is in vain! People make a first impression of your church in less than 10 minutes and that impression is all based on the details!  If they are not greeted as they walk in their immediate response is “these people don’t care about me”.  If the bathrooms are dirty their mind starts thinking “they can’t take care of their bathrooms…how can they ever take care of my family”. If they feel lost or confused because of a lack of signage or a service flow that is more insider friendly than outsider friendly then they feel uncomfortable.  If they feel nervous dropping their kids off then all they are thinking about during the service is their kids…

DETAILS MAKE OR BREAK AN ORGANIZATION.  The impression is made before the worship starts and the Pastor speaks.  So what are your details saying?

Walk through your facilities in the shoes of a first time guest. How clean are they, how is the signage, how is the decor is it inviting?  Think through your service flow and whether you are a church that expects guests every week.  Is the kids check in secure and easy does it put parents at ease? Do your bulletins, print materials, and pre service slides give clear next steps to someone new? Do you welcome guests multiple times and introduce yourself?  All of these put together either create a huge WIN or a huge loss depending on whether or not you ignore or address them.

Your details speak much louder than your sermons. If you get the details right then growth will happen and you will see down the road that your “if we had” list will be accomplished.

Leading Ahead of Schedule

I am enamored with this thought as a leader to “lead ahead of schedule”, but to lead in such a way it takes a tremendous amount of confidence. Confidence is something you must have as a leader, as an entrepreneur, or as a Pastor.  Now when I say confidence I don’t mean ego.  I mean a confidence in where your organization is going.  Having this confidence does not mean you will not have doubts at times or that you are always Mr. Optimism. Confidence is knowing the potential that is in your organization and seeing its future.

As leaders we must lead ahead of schedule.  We must be out front of our team seeing the future that we know is possible.  I have always had this confidence that there was greatness in our church and our team members even from day one.  I remember when we were a church of maybe 40 people (counting kids and dogs) and I just knew our Church was the place to be and missing out was a huge mistake.  Now some people may see that as being naive or bias, but I was confident in our hearts and our future.

Leading ahead of schedule.

I have always told our team at every stage the same thing…
When we were a church of 500 I said we are not a church of 500, but 5,000.  When we were 600 it was 6,000, when we were 700 it was 7,000, and so on and so on.  As a leader you must understand that you are just waiting for your present to catch up with your reality.

Leading ahead of schedule forces you not to settle with your present. If I am going to be a pastor of thousands that means I need to be a leader of that capacity and if we are going to be a church of thousands than that means there is a higher level of excellence that we must expect for ourselves. When we lead ahead of schedule we are pushing ourselves to a higher level we know we are capable of even if we can’t see it yet.

That confidence that pushes us to lead ahead of schedule is faith.
As Hebrews 11:1 states,“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

Faith is not leading out of fantasy but faith is leading out of diligence and that diligence takes us to the greatness we were destined to live! Look at where you are now and know it is not a period in your sentence of life but a comma.  Push yourself to higher heights and help your team reach the greatness that you know is inside them.  Lead ahead of schedule because you are just waiting for your present to catch up with your reality!

Consistency is EVERYTHING!

Guess what?  Overnight success is a BIG FAT LIE.  It is a myth and does not exist!  Success only happens when we do the right things consistently over an extended period of time… If you have ever read Jim Collin’s book “Good to Great” he calls this the Flywheel concept.  That at first it is extremely difficult to push the lever and get the flywheel moving, but if you keep pushing soon momentum will take over.

I am convinced most people never live their dreams because they don’t have the grit to stay committed to the process.  Commitment without a time limit leads to a Dream without a height limit.  Most people have great ideas and great dreams, but most people never see those ideas and dreams manifest into reality because they don’t have the resolve to see them through.  Dreams and ideas are easy.  Everyone has dreams. Yet very few people actually live their dreams. Why? Because very few people are willing to stay consistent long enough to see results.  A farmer doesn’t plant seeds and then after a week gets mad because they haven’t sprouted immediately so he ignores them and then goes and plants something else.  No he understands it takes time for things to grow and during that process he waters them, fertilizes them, and is constantly removing the weeds so those plants can flourish.  We must do that with our dreams, ideas, and our organizations.

Is it hard? You better believe it is hard.  You have to hustle in those moments of waiting, you have to have faith, and you must be disciplined to stay committed to the process.  Dreams without discipline are just fantasies and too many people are living fantasies when we were intended to turn those dreams into realities.

So how do we stay committed during the process?

1. Know where you want to end up.

It is important to picture what your dream would look like completed.  Picture the end result… If the book was completed what would the cover look like, if the storefront was up and running how would it be laid out with all its products, if the website was running how would it function, what would your logo be, how would your week run if you were working your dream Full Time, design the house you want to build, or what is your perfect clothing size? Whatever your dream is start picturing the dream completed so that you have a target in mind.

2. Set Goals.

Goals are meant to be steps that lead to your dreams.  Now that you know where you are heading start figuring out your first steps and give yourself a deadline to accomplish them.  Create a list of 5 or so goals and give yourself 4 to 8 weeks to accomplish them.  When you start attacking your goals in small chunks and in short spurts of time you become less overwhelmed and you naturally create momentum for yourself.

3. Figure out where you need to grow.

There are certain areas you will need to grow in to see your goals accomplished.  Be honest with yourself and come up with a few things you need to develop to fulfill your goals you just set for yourself.  Maybe you need to develop discipline to stay focused and use your time wisely, maybe you need to recruit a team and you need to work on vision casting, or maybe you need work on being more organized so you can accomplish your tasks with everything else you are working on.  Do an honest assessment of yourself every time you set new goals and watch your goals get accomplished and leadership increase.

4. Do NOT Quit.

Just make the commitment now that you are committed to the process.  Quiting is NOT an option and you ARE going to stay committed to the process.

Do the right things, the right way, consistently, and watch the growth happen in your organization and your life!

The Two Most Important Jobs a Leader Has!

Morale & Momentum michael s carlton

There are many things that a leader must keep track of when it comes to running an organization.  Some are large responsibilities and some smaller day to day tasks, but there are two things that I believe are absolutely the most important for a leader to focus on which is Morale & Momentum.  As a leader our main goal has to be to keep Morale up and Momentum going in our organization.  Other areas may be important, but if morale is down and if you have no momentum then everything else is meaningless.

So lets discuss how we keep morale up and momentum going in our organizations…

KEEPING MORALE UP

1. Value your team. You know that it is impossible for your organization to be successful without your team (if not you need to understand that), but does your team know that? As leaders many times we suffer from this complex where we just assume everyone knows how we feel or what we think.  As a leader always assume that no one knows how you feel and with that mind set always over communicate the value in your team members and watch how you gain tremendous value in your organization.

2. Serve your team. Leadership is not about us but the people we lead and we must spend our energy inspiring and empowering them.  As leaders we must spend our time developing the leaders in our organizations.  Spend time with them, supply them with the resources they need, send them to conferences, and listen to their needs, their struggles, and help them lead through them.  We serve our team not the other way around!

3. Celebrate your team. As the leader we don’t need the credit we have the title and that should be enough.  You elevate and celebrate every team member and never take the credit for yourself.  Listen to me when we celebrate others and not ourselves it builds loyalty, trust, and commodore that money can NEVER buy!

KEEPING MOMENTUM GOING

1. Communicate where you are going.  We need to be consistent with communicating to our team the vision of our organization and where we are going. People want to be apart of something bigger than themselves and they want to work hard for an organization that is making a difference.  Dream with your team and dream beyond the realm of rationality.  Dreaming creates excitement and excitement builds momentum.

2. Communicate your values constantly.  When team understands where we are going then they need to understand why we do what we do.  To get our organizations to go in the same direction then we must communicate the WHY behind the WHERE.  You need to create and physically write down a list of 5-10  team values.  After you create these values we must communicate them frequently to our team.  An African proverb says it best “If you want to run fast, run alone; if you want to run far, run together.” We must run together as a team and the only way you do that is to clearly understand the values of our organizations.

3. Strategically plan your calendar.  As church leaders we always know their higher attended Sundays than other Sundays and we must use this knowledge to our advantage.  Don’t just create a killer Sunday service for you high attended Sundays, but create a killer service that is followed by a very relatable series. Your large Sundays need to domino into each other and that only happens by planning your calendar in a way that helps them flow together. If a large group of people accept Jesus at large attended Sunday service their next logical question is “whats next?” and as the church we have to help them answer that.  Look at a speaking calendar a lot like someones journey of personal spiritual growth so you can help your people walk through those stages of spiritual growth.
*A side note always plan your best series in your lowest attended months to help domino into the next large Sunday.

4. Celebrate the wins. Celebrate the wins publicly and celebrate them often.  Nothing creates momentum in our teams better than seeing the fruit of God moving in our organizations!

Remember we can do everything right, but if morale is down and momentum is at a halt then everything else is vain.  Make these two things your number one focus as a leader and I know you will see the benefits in your organization!

I HATE the word Delegate!

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Ok Ok… I may be slightly over exaggerating, but I really really dislike that term.  I mean I understand the concept of using this word to describe leading in your organization.  The reality of this is 100% true. You can not do it all by yourself!  But the problem with the word “delegate” is in most leaders minds whether that is consciously or subconsciously it means to assign tasks. Many leaders hear delegate and think it means removing things off of their plate.  While this may be partially true.  If this is your motivation it creates micromanaging leaders who are only assigning tasks instead of authority.

Micromanaging is just as ineffective as being a lone ranger leader and doing everything yourself. What we have to do as leaders is not “delegate” but “empower” the people on our team.  Something happens in your mind when you start telling yourself you are going to empower people.  You no longer assign just a task, but you start assigning authority and that builds leaders.  A task creates a busy employee, but authority creates empowered leaders! We must understand duplication is the only thing that leads to multiplication.  If you want to multiply the growth in your organization then you must duplicate yourself as a leader.

Now I am going to be 100% honest with you it’s way more difficult up front to empower than to delegate.  It’s easier to just micromanage a task and have it done exactly the way you want it done, but it will grossly limit your organizations growth and potential in the long run.

So how do we empower the leaders on our team and set them up to succeed?  John Maxwell said, “if someone can do it at 80% as well as you then let them do it”. But I like how Craig Groeschel says it a little better, “if they can do it at 50 to 60% as well as you but with momentum then let them do it. This will  let them grow into it and one day they’ll surpass you”.

So we need to discover our team members potential, empower them with authority, and also we need to set them up to succeed. Here is 4 ways to empower your team so that they will achieve success.

1. Be Clear With Your Expectations.
When you’re transferring authority you are not assigning a task, but an area of responsibility.  With that you have to be crystal clear on their responsibilities, your expectations, and the fact that you will be giving them feedback along the way. You cannot over communicate these things upfront.  The more clear you are on your expectations the less confusion they have, the less anxiety they develop, and the more confidently they will move forward.

2. We Champion Their Ideas.
When you empower someone they are going to think out of the box and differently than you and as long as they still align with the vision of your Church then you must encourage that. There is no greater feeling as leader when your team is dreaming and working on their own accord.  There is nothing like seeing your team rally the people they lead to accomplish a project or an event.  We must encourage that drive. We do that when we constantly champion their ideas and give them permission to run with their ideas.

3. We Help Them Grow Through Feedback.
We must let our team members know that we desire for them to be the very best they can be and that growth happens through feedback.  Feedback is a great thing, but only if they understand the motive behind it and if it is given in small chunks.  Many times as leaders we like to go over a list of all the things to work on, but too much feedback can actually cause them to feel defeated.  The relationship with your team members is a process and we grow one step at a time.  Think long term with your team members.

4. Celebrate Them!
You need to see the wins and celebrate the wins that your team is accomplishing.  Lavish your team members with praise publicly and privately as they continue to knock it out of the park.  Nothing builds confidence and encourages more initiative in your team than when their leader celebrates them!

Duplication is the ONLY thing that leads to multiplication. Empower your team and watch your organization not just see addition to its growth, but multiplication to its growth.   Empowering leaders attract leaders!

 

4 ways to create a healthy culture

Culture is vital…I mean EXTREMELY vital to the success of your church or organization.  A great vision can be destroyed by an unhealthy culture.  I have heard it said like this, “Culture will eat vision for breakfast”.

So what is culture?  Culture is when what you say and what you do line up.  Culture is what people feel and experience in your church or organization. For example: I don’t want to just tell people I value them and that I love them,  I want people to feel and experience value and love.  That understanding goes beyond words, but is a set of values that are discovered through actions.

4 ways to create a healthy culture

1. You must clarify what you value.

A good way to do this is to ask yourself what do we want to be known for when people describe our church or organization?

Make a list of the things you want people to say about your organization.  This list is how you develop and clarify your values and when your values are lived out it creates your culture.

At Bloom it was our desire that we create a culture that “Every Person Matters”!  That every person that attends our services whether they’re new or not  feels welcomed and loved.  That we show they matter by honoring them every week by putting forth our best.  Every person can be a part of a Lifegroup and every person can go through the process and get plugged in and start serving.

2. Quit talking about it and start doing it.

The culture you desire will never exist in the future if you don’t model it in the present.  Culture starts with the leader.  When we identify what our values are we immediately start modeling those values.  Culture is not built upon excuses, but expectations.  What are your expectations for yourself, for your staff, and for your volunteers?

If our staff or volunteers are not living out our culture it is either because we as the leaders are not modeling it, we have not clarified exactly what we desire, or we are ignoring teachable moments to train and build our team.

3. Understand it takes time

Culture is not built in a matter of days, but a matter of months.  You have to be consistent with your values even when you think no one is getting it.  Because when we continue to model, clarify, and teach your values they will eventually get it and they will start to live out that culture!  It takes time and discipline to build lasting values.

4. Celebrate the wins

People will repeat what gets celebrated.  Encourage and celebrate your team.  Too many leaders are on the lookout to give correction and not enough are on the lookout to give affirmation. Give a public shoutout to someone who goes above and beyond, celebrate them on social media, send them a card, or give them a small gift. I promise you that when you celebrate wins the wins will multiply inside your organization and build a healthy culture.

Here is what you need to understand… Culture is the fuel for momentum and the heartbeat of your vision.  If you want to see your organization move forward and see your vision fulfilled you must build a healthy culture!