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Seven strategies for churches, organization or group of people, Need to adopt to reach the community.

Lonnie McCowan

By Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan

As a pastors and church leader, l I understand very well that we are in a battle for souls. The Bible encourages us to “endure hardship as a soldier.” This is not to say that we are at war with people, and we need to be very careful to realize that the war we are involved in is spiritual in nature. In fact, the war we are engaged in is far more important than any earthly one. The implications of our war are eternal. Victory is not a matter of who will be in charge politically or who will control natural resources. It’s a battle that will determine how many people we can rescue from spiritual bondage forever. We’re talking about souls for eternity.

In any war, in any battle, there absolutely must be a strategy before the engagement starts. I want to share with you seven aspects of the strategy that any local church, organization or any group of people need to adopt to take their communities by storm.

1. Your church, organization or group must have Unity.
Unity is vital to winning. No matter its size, a local church is the body of Christ, which represents order and synergy. When the parts of the body are together in vision, mission, and values, we’re headed for victory. One mistake churches make is to start ministries to meet particular needs without considering how the new ministry will relate to existing ministries. Healthy churches are able to synchronize their leadership so that the children’s ministry, teen ministry, music ministry, etc. are all on the same page, working from the same vision.

2. Your church, organization or group must have flexibility in execution.
Plan, but don’t plan too much. You need strong long-term goals, but not detailed long-term strategies. Why? Because over the next decade, you don’t know for sure yet how your community will change, how culture will change, who will come and go on your staff or among your key volunteers, or what unforeseen circumstances your church, organization or group may endure. Flexible churches organization or group must have a willingness to adjust to change and make improvements on the fly.

3. Your church, organization or group must empower people to make their own decisions.
The church works best when the people who are doing the ministry are making the decisions, as long as it’s in line with the vision. Micro managing kills creativity in your group.

4. Your church, organization or group must retain its mobility.
Sometimes churches plateau because they have not found any new ways to grow, and they become none relevant to the community around them.

5. Your church, organization or group must become more skilled in the art and science of communication.
You can’t always control how the community thinks about you. The story people tell about your church will sometimes reflect the negative experiences they’ve had or the rumors they’ve heard. But you do have the advantage of framing that story through how you communicate your vision. You will cast the initial image of what your church, organization or group is like with your promotional and marketing materials, your website, your social media presence, the language with which you describe your church, organization or group and your future as a staff and leadership. Remember that from the striping of the parking lot to the curriculum used by the kids department, everything is communication.

6. Your church, organization or group must know the enemy’s weaknesses.
We are good at observing how Satan is working, but often poor at observing how Satan is failing. We can see that people live for pleasure, for money, or for success to the detriment of their spiritual vitality. What we often forget is that at the end of this endless, vain search for significance, Satan’s solutions always leave people hungry and thirsty for more. Knowing this weakness helps us to be ready at all times with the answer.

7. Your church, organization or group must take reasonable risks.
There is always a cost to success and winning. Having counted the potential costs of success, we must decide that victory is worth the risk involved. Obviously this doesn’t mean making decisions blindly or foolishly. It means being confident in the Holy Spirit’s direction and putting everything on the line for the sake of souls.

Lonnie G. McCowan is pastor at The Miracle Center of Ventura, in Ventura, CA. He can be contacted through email at lonnie100@msn.com or by visitingwww.miraclecenterventura.com.

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