Does Your Ministry Prize Efficiency Over Efficacy? – A Quiz

One of the problems facing ministries is how business-like they will be. Are they managed like a well run business or are they sort of thrown together so things happen, but everyone is constantly wondering whether or not the next class or event will actually occur? That’s a valid concern, but ultimately there is a more important question that rises above that debate. The question we should probably be asking is whether or not our ministries to children and teens are more concerned with efficiency than they are with their efficacy. In other words, do we prefer a well run ministry that’s an efficient one more than we value a ministry that is actually helping young people learn and grow spiritually.

As you can imagine, this is usually not an either/or answer. All of our ministries are on that continuum somewhere. The truth is that we need our ministries to also be efficient so that they can be effective. Where that perfect balance is, however, should be a question you and those who serve and are served by your ministry regularly reflect upon and discuss.

When you are having these times of reflection and discussion, what questions should you be asking? We’ve come up with a list we believe will help you honestly assess and evaluate where your ministry is on the continuum.

  1. When discussing changes, do the words “easy” and “difficult” often play a major factor in the discussion?
  2. Does your ministry hope/prefer that any issue be addressed by merely purchasing something or spending money in some way?
  3. Is there a fear of change? (How great is that fear?)
  4. Does there appear to be more concern regarding what adults will think of something regarding your ministry than there is about what is in the best interest of the spiritual health and growth it may provide to the students to whom you minister?
  5. Do you have core principles in writing and are they regularly reviewed with everyone impacted by your ministry?
  6. Do you make regular time for godly strategic planning?
  7. How often do you pray for God’s guidance regarding a specific ministry decision?
  8. How do you look for God’s guidance regarding anything and everything about your ministry?
  9. Are you afraid to ask volunteers to learn and grow or accept additional responsibilities in your ministry?
  10. Are you afraid to ask for “more” from anyone – even when you know it will benefit your students spiritually?
  11. Do you spend more time and effort making sure the ministry runs smoothly or ensuring students are getting the maximum spiritual educational growth possible from your ministry?
  12. Do you get annoyed when someone makes a suggestion or gives constructive feedback regarding your ministry?

(Although, your ministry is only one piece in the spiritual growth and health of young people, it is also important to consider the long term results. How many of the young people who came through your ministry are active, productive Christians at age 20? 30? Is there anything your ministry could do that might help those numbers improve? Spoiler alert. Yes, but those are the ministry changes that require a lot of extra time and effort. How passionate is your ministry about the spiritual growth and health of those it serves if making a positive difference in spiritual outcomes takes a lot of time and effort?)

There is no key to give you the perfect answer for every question. The most effective ministries will constantly struggle with finding the perfect balance. And that’s okay. Because sometimes the answer is in the very struggle itself.

Categories Encouragement, Volunteer Management
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