Monitoring Ministry Drift


Many churches, schools, and non-profits are not satisfied with their stewardship efforts; that is, their ability to design ministry models that simultaneously feed the sheep, reach the lost, and leave a blessing for their children and grandchildren. Many ministries feel under-resourced to provide effective Gospel impact as well as financially sustainable ministries. Congregational stewardship deficits are most readily noticeable when ministries drift from their intended Gospel purpose and/or become financially inviable. Most congregations have no strategy in place to monitor ministry drift and no means by which to implement realignment. Often congregations are led by the intuition or charisma of a gifted church worker or lay leader, and the ministry strategy is not explicit, making it hard for others to participate in the strategic decision-making process. By the time an incongruency is recognized, the ministry may have suffered an early death or drained the congregation of finite financial and human resources. Congregational stewardship deficits can promote fragmentation, fuel a division, facilitate vision drift, encourage power shifts, foster mismanagement of human and physical resources, and even precipitate church and school closures.

The challenge of stewarding ministry impact and viability touch every church, school and non-profit. Congregational challenges do not repair themselves without significant effort. Amy Edmondson notes, "The chances of individual components, developed separately, coming together into meaningful, functional wholes without intense communication across the booundaries are exceedinglly low" (Amy C. Edmondson, Teaming: How Oganizations Learnn,Inovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012), 197.