no average joe 2The one thing we all want is a thriving church. We want a church that is striving for excellence; one that meets our spiritual needs and also reaches out beyond our doors into the community. Of course, good leadership is essential.  It is the motivating force behind the positive direction of the church. The last thing anyone wants is a mediocre church. It’s important to have a clear vision. Leadership, ministries, and small groups all come together as pieces of a puzzle to make a complete and successful church. Each person contributes in some way to either the strengths or weaknesses of the church.

So, what steps can we take to avoid becoming a less than Average Joe, who has lost value and purpose? How, exactly, do we avoid mediocrity in church?  Here is a list of 8 action steps to take.

  1. Have a vision. Not only is it important for the church to have a vision…everyone should know what that vision is. Without a clear vision the church is just treading water and reminiscing on yesterdays and I remember when…
  2. Have a clear strategy for discipleship. There must be a clear plan of action to lead, not only new believers, but all members toward growth and maturity in Christ. There has to more purpose than just weekly services. There has to be steps in place to move people toward a changed life, and there has to be a plan on how to share the good news with others
  3. Have a new membership class. What does it mean to be a member and what is a member’s commitment to the congregation and church? Members should have a clear view of what is expected of them. With a clear introduction to the church, members feel connected, and their enthusiasm for their role in the church grows
  4. Dare to be different. Be willing to implement different strategies. You can change your strategies without changing your core beliefs. As society changes, you must consider changing your methods to reach people
  5. Keep good records of attendance, growth, etc. Charting attendance, growth, transfers, committees, groups, goals, and accomplishments…all of these are so important. Without good records you will miss the indicators that will show you where changes need to be made. You must have a clear picture of whether you are growing or stagnant
  6. Pay attention to your community and the world around you. There is a need beyond your walls and it is important to be willing to reach out to others. You have to be willing to serve your community and global neighbors as well. Community involvement and support of global needs is a way to impact the world around you
  7. Have redemptive discipline when there is sin. Although we would like it not to be so…people do, at times, stumble and fall. The church should not be so desperate to retain members that it completely ignores sin, but its discipline should always be redemptive. While the church should  not approve  of sinful actions, it should always show love and compassion leading individuals to the point of repentance
  8. Never be completely self-focused. No one wants to be around a self-absorbed…it’s all about me person type of person. The same goes for a self-focused church. When you have regard for others and you see beyond your own personal needs and preferences, you are working with the right attitude of service to others

Each of us plays a role in the success and effectiveness of our church. We each have to give thought as to how we can contribute, support, and bring about positive change as we move toward excellence.