4 Frames to Help Your Ministry Get Unstuck…Or Protect You From Getting There

Do you ever feel like you’re working really hard, trying to gain traction, but when you look up all you see and smell is smoke and burnt rubber with little progress?

Or maybe you’ve exhausted all your ideas, so you’ve just sort of laid off and let the engine idle because you’re at a loss.

Either way, these 4 frames will hopefully encourage you to keep trucking or rev that engine up again.

FRAME 1: Zero

Take everything you’re doing–Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, annual events, VBS, handouts, emails, everything–and put them on paper (Leave nothing out, not even sacred cows).

Then ask one simple question: If we were launching a new family ministry from nothing, zilch, zero, what would make the cut?

Anything that doesn’t, no matter how sacred, cross it off and at the end see what you’re left with.

You may be surprised to find that 80% of your success comes from 20% of what you do.

Which also means 80% of your effort may only be contributing 20%.

At this point there may be some sacred cows that need to go, but before you go gung-ho and BBQ them, keep a couple things in mind: 1)At one point in time, they were probably a really good solution to a problem and that’s how people still remember them, so 2) if you aren’t careful you can get yourself BBQed instead of the cow.

The best advice I’ve ever heard on this subject is this: If a sacred cow is killed, everyone knows who did it, but if someone stops feeding the sacred cows and it dies of malnourishment, not one remembers who forgot to feed it.

FRAME 2: Make it better

This is a classic Andy Stanley principle.

Anything you do, not matter how well or how successful, can always be made better.

And every great idea has an expiration date.

If you commit to making just one area of your ministry better every single week, it will be almost impossible to become irrelevant because you’ll always be ahead of the curve.

Many times making incremental improvements can simply be done by brainstorming with your best volunteers, talking with other church leaders in the area that are hitting Kids Min out of the park, or even going online and starting some discussions in Kids Min Facebook groups.

FRAME 3: Never settle

This one is from a smartphone company named One Plus (R).

Their vision is to produce super affordable smartphones with comparable specs to premium priced phones, and for their first two years of existence, they’ve nailed it.

After their successful year one launch in which they literally could not keep up with demand, they could have cruised with the second iteration, riding the momentum of their first success.

Instead they meticulously reevaluated every single component from the ground up, some things they kept, some things they cut, and some things they improved.

The end result: Another amazing phone at an affordable price point.

What if your ministry looked at itself the same way?

What if new families were blown away when they walked in because you refused to settle for good enough, or even great.

What if you weren’t satisfied with even the best thing you do?

The end result would be amazing, time after time.

FRAME 4: Be remarkable

“If you’re not remarkable, you’re invisible.”

I can’t seem to shake that quote out of my head.

It scares me.

It makes me think about whether we’re remarkable in anything.

It makes me afraid of falling into the mindset of measuring everything through the filter of “not bad” because remarkable is a huge leap above “not bad.”

It makes me ask myself: What are we doing that no one else is doing?

Because if we want to reach the people no one else is reaching, we have to do things no one else is doing.

So we challenge ourselves to live by the motto: Remarkable in everything.

We know that we’re never going to arrive at remarkable, but we also know that we’ll get a whole lot farther trying.

Using these 4 frames, we’ve been able to innovate and improve at a steady and consistent pace.

My hope is that these 4 frames challenge you to keep going back to the drawing board to keep looking for that one idea that will make you just a little bit better.

I’d love to hear any frames you use to keep from getting stuck, leave a comment with some advice!

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