In 1998 when I started PLACE and was implementing plans for PLACE I was serving as Pastor of Ministry Development on a church staff. As I reflect back on the early days of PLACE many of my plans worked and had great impact and some didn’t.
But, what I find interesting is the ones that didn’t work I immediately evaluated what went wrong and did my best to make adjustments.
After three years of being on a church staff I transitioned off staff in 2001 to leading PLACE Ministries full-time where we have provided resources for some 13,000+ churches and organizations. The concepts and principles we teach in our Implementation Guide I have learned over many years in leading PLACE, learning from churches and organizations and from the early years of being on a church staff. In our Implementation Guide we teach four steps to Implementing Your PLACEment purpose. They are:
Let me quickly cover each of the four steps in almost real time from my church. We decided to create a strategy/process/next steps/journey to help people go from an attender to a member to involvement at our church. In February we launched a monthly time called “God’s Gifts” of highlighting new members during our worship services and then providing the next steps for our new members. At the same time, we launched Lunch with the Pastor where we invited those who had been attending our church to have Lunch with our Pastor, staff, and many lay leaders where at the end of the lunch those desiring could join our church. These “plans” (God’s Gifts and Lunch with the Pastor) have exceeded my expectations. And by the way many people, INCLUDING MY SENIOR PASTOR have been intimately involved in knowing, developing, planning, communicating, executing and evaluating our purpose with these intentional steps we desire for people to make in their journey with God and others.
However, our next step/plan to introduce potential and new members to Who We Are – PMV @ FRC (what many churches call a Discovery Class or New Members Class) has not been as effective and successful. The attendance was not what I desired and how I designed PMV was not what I sensed many were desiring. So, I listened to much counsel, (Proverbs 15:22), wrote a proposal in how to get more to sign-up for PMV, then PLACE and have redesigned and implemented many new items to make PMV more effective based on what the first group that went through told me. After putting all these new “plans” together I went to my Senior Pastor and got his thoughts and ideas and as important his approval in implementing my new “plans”.
Serving Him Together,
Founder & President of PLACE Ministries
All this to say that what I have seen and written about in our PLACE Implementation Guide from the sidelines in working with so many churches and now back to my own experience is absolutely true. You must implement four steps (determine, communicate, execute and evaluate YOUR PLACE purpose) in order to be effective in whatever you oversee at your church or organization.
But, what I have also seen is many do not implement ALL FOUR OF THESE STEPS and when they do execute an intentional strategy like PLACE and their “plans” fail they get disappointed and often give up or worse continue to be dissatisfied with mediocre results, but continue “as is”.
Secondly, throughout this article I have bolded the words “Senior Pastor”. I have seen first hand again why I have stressed all these years to communicate with and get buy-in from the Senior Pastor. Often we initially get buy-in from the Senior Pastor, but when things don’t go as expected we give up or go back to the Senior Pastor expecting them to tell us what to do next. So here’s my advice:
Continually communicate before, during, and after with your Senior Pastor the “plans” you have come up with regarding implementing an intentional strategy and resource like PLACE.
Don’t expect your Senior Pastor to come up with the “plans”. You come up with the plans and have your Senior Pastor give “counsel” (Proverbs 15:22) to make your plans even better and more effective and impactful.
Don’t expect your “plans” to work to perfection first time around. Continually evaluate your “plans” to adjust and make them more impactful in accomplishing Your PLACEment Purpose.While I am being challenged in new ways with implementing what we are calling Jouney On in which Finding Your PLACE in Life and Ministry is part of the journey I am also being motivated and encouraged by my Senior Pastor who is working with me and our staff to ensure our plans are successful (Proverbs 15:22).
PLACE Ministries is hosting a PLACE Workshop Experience May 11-12 in Atlanta, GA. I would love for you to attend with me in learning proven principles for implementing PLACE along with real life current examples of how I am implementing these principles at my church.