How to Quickly Discover Your Church's Missional Strengths
Here’s the challenge: When a church finds something that works, it will run that ministry for years and years without thought to its effectiveness. Andy Stanley calls this an “old couch.” We love the old couch. It’s been part of the family for decades. It’s so comfortable. But guests look at it and don’t even want to sit on it because of the stains, the rips, the lumps—the overall yuckiness of that old couch.
Because we live in a time of discontinuous change, it’s especially important that we discard our old couches. But how ready are we to do that? How capable is our church of stepping out of its comfort zone to become a community focused on missional ministry?
Discovering Your Church's Missional Readiness
The Church 360 survey, developed by Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk at The Missional Network is designed to help a congregation become aware of the skills and capacities it possesses that make a church ready for missional change. When my church did this survey a few years ago, about half of our congregation responded.
What the Church 360 gave us was a snapshot of where our church stood at that moment in time in regard to our readiness to live out our missional calling. It gave us an idea of our missional readiness in sixteen areas of our church. These include such areas as:
- Structure – How conducive is our current structure to growing in our missional calling?
- Leadership – Are our church’s leaders creating opportunities for missional experimentations?
- Staff – How ready is the staff to lead the church into missional outreach?
- Financial – What priorities are evident in the church budget? Does the church budget reflect a priority for missional ministry?
- Involvement – Does the church’s ministry depend on the staff or is the congregation actively involved in all of the church’s areas of ministry?
- Impact – How much of an impact is your church currently having on your neighborhood?
Beginning the Missional Change Process
The Church 360 survey was a valuable resource for my church’s leadership as we began the process of missional change. It helped us discern where we had the necessary skills and capacities for missional ministry and where we needed to grow.
You don’t necessarily need the Church 360 survey to begin the missional change process. But you need something. You need some way to get an objective view of where you church stands in terms of its readiness for missional change. The Church 360 is one way to get that objective view.
(By the way, I am not an affiliate for the Church 360 survey.I’m simply sharing with you what worked for our church.)