First, I realized a lot of what I had written in 1998 and 1999 was good philosophically and was written from more of an altitude of 40,000 feet because honestly I didn’t have many years of seeing what worked and what didn’t so I had to rely on research and limited knowledge and experience. Sadly, I see so many books on a particular subject written from this perspective and from what I call “celebrity individuals”, and because they are celebrities we crave to hear what they say on any subject. Well I wasn’t a celebrity in 1998 and am certainly not one today, but feel I can address and write as an expert on the subject of helping God’s people discover how and why God created them for life and ministry through the PLACE experience. And I feel I do have some expertise in helping churches and organizations know how to successfully implement a ministry like PLACE.
Steps To Implementing PLACE
So, here are the four steps to implementing PLACE:
1. Determine Your Purpose
2. Communicate Your Purpose
3. Execute Your Purpose
4. Evaluate Your Purpose
As I said earlier I will expand on each step and how PLACE relates to each step in this four week series of articles. Before completing this article with Step One – Determine Your Purpose - sadly most people implementing PLACE skip steps 1 and 2 (Determine and Communicate Your Purpose) and never give any attention to step 4 (Evaluate Your Purpose). Churches and organizations almost without exception focus solely on Executing PLACE and not committing to the other 3 steps.
With the little space left in this article let’s focus on DeterminingYour PLACEment purpose.
We did create a new Implementation Guide. The new Implementation Guide is about half the number of pages (everyone likes less), but in my opinion many times more helpful IF fully implemented.
The next four weeks (this article would be too long if I wrote everything, even condensed) I am going to write what I learned. I will also be providing practical examples where I am implementing the steps in my church. My hope is you will implement the four steps I will outline in these articles whether it is PLACE or any other ministry in your church or organization.
I say “any other ministry” because these four steps SHOULD be implemented in any ministry you are trying to make impactful. Hopefully you can avoid the words, "We tried PLACE and it didn't work."
Does your church have a purpose, mission or vision statement? Simply, Purpose is WHY we are here. Mission is HOW we fulfill our purpose. Vision is WHAT would a fulfilled purpose and achieved mission look like. I am not as amazed at how many churches do not have any purpose, mission or vision statements, but how many do and how few (even staff members) can even quote what they are much less talk about how they are implementing them.
If your church has a purpose, mission or vision statement(s) do you and those at your church know how PLACE fits into your purpose, mission or vision? In closing, the video below promotes what my church calls God’s Gifts to First Redeemer where we regularly recognize new members who have joined our church. In the video I connect PLACE with the vision of our church.
How many times have I heard in my almost 19 years since starting PLACE Ministries comments like:
"We used to do PLACE."
"We tried PLACE and it didn't work for us."
In 1998 and 1999 I researched and wrote an Implementation Guide that we put in a 3-ring notebook that was about 250 pages. We launched PLACE and thousands of churches purchased (thank you) our resources and our Implementation Guide notebook. Then about five years ago I spent a summer with Brad Sargent who worked with me back in 1998 putting all of PLACE together along with our Executive Director, Kraig Kelsey looking at what we have learned. We thought about what could we do if we were to create an updated Implementation Guide based on our experience with PLACE both in our own churches and the thousands that had and we're still using PLACE.
Next week we will look at some key insights into Communicating Your PLACEment purpose.
Thanks for the privilege to serve you!
Serving Him Together,
Founder & President of PLACE Ministries