This blog entry is by guest blogger Steve Ogne, church planter coach and consultant with CRM. Steve and I worked together for a decade and collaborated on several projects together, including The Church Planter’s Toolkit. Steve’s most recent publication is TransforMissional Coaching: Empowering Leaders in a Changing Ministry World.

I’ve been doing congregation-wide consultations based on just three questions. Here’s my challenge to you:  evaluate the effectiveness of the overall ministry of your church using just these three questions:

  1. How does our church intentionally connect with lost people in the community? It’s amazing how few pastors can answer this question clearly. Some will say, “We hope to have visitors on Sundays.” Yet hoping that lost people will come to you is not very strategic. A better answer might be, “We have these three ministries intentionally designed to reach lost people before they ever come to our church.”
  2. How are we intentionally making disciples out of these lost people? Churches that can articulate their mechanism or pathway will have a clear, tangible response to this question. Some will respond, “Well, we want our groups to do that.”  “What specifically are your groups doing to create disciples?” “It’s just through life-on-life.” Those responses are vague. A better response might be, “We have these specific groups that are useful for new believers and disciplemaking for inquirers.” There should be one or more intentional– not just theoretical– ways of making disciples.
  3.  How does our church raise up leaders who can make disciples out of lost people? Often pastors will just get good volunteers to be leaders and leave the discipleship up to the staff. A better response might be, “The first thing we equip our leaders to do is bring someone to faith and engage in discipleship with them.”  Too often we’re so busy training leaders to serve in the church that we don’t train them to serve in the world.

What might it look like to evaluate the effectiveness of your church through the lens of these three questions?