Think “STEPS” not “PROGRAMS”

about 4.5 years ago I read a book that completely ROCKED my paradigm of church.  It is called “The 7 practices of effective ministry” by Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner.   Now.. I have to be honest here.  I only picked the book up initially because it had the name “ANDY STANLEY” on it and because the picture on the cover was a baseball diamond… and the book was orange and black. (If you didn’t know… I’m a pretty huge San Francisco Giants fan!)  I knew this book had to have something to do with how ministry and baseball connected.  Well, it did… sort of.  One of the practices that blew my mind was the “Think Steps Not Programs” practice.  The bottom line was this… PROGRAMS DON’T GROW PEOPLE… STEPS GROW PEOPLE.  It’s a complete paradigm shift.  It’s essentially saying “forget about a system of programs that will move people from a-z… go to school, do your homework on your people, evaluate where your people are and determine what STEPS they will need to help them move forward in their journey with Jesus.”  This completely changes the game.  why?  because we are tempted over and over again to think that the program is the main thing.  reality check… IT IS NOT.  But when you start to evaluate your church, your ministry, based upon the people that are there and the steps that they need to take forward in their relationship with Jesus… it helps you better create environments that would suit the spiritual needs (not wants) of those people.  The thought process goes something like this:

1) get close to people

2) evaluate needs

3) determine steps of spiritual growth

4) create environments that foster those steps

5) watch people grow

6) course correct as necessary

The bottom line is this: at the end of the day… people are way more important than programs.  Their spiritual growth is the WHOLE BALLGAME in church.  So I “THINK STEPS, NOT PROGRAMS.”

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