One of the most important concepts for ministry architects is that the
well-worn path never leads to a new destination. There really are times
when the road you're on does not lead to where you want to go...and the
only way to get "there" is to move over to a new road, a new
This drawing is from one of my most requested talks. I explained it recently in an article called Different Leads to a Church OF Groups. Today I just want to highlight an important aspect of the concept, one of those tiny details that sometimes get overlooked.
If you want to get to the preferred future (in the drawing), you have to
move to a new trajectory. This is one of those times when there's
really no alternative. No matter how much you hope you end up where you
want to go, no matter how hard you try or how many times you try, if
you're not on the right road...it just doesn't go to there.
Only a new road, a new trajectory, goes to there.
For example, if you've been faithfully working the apprenticing strategy
in your small group ministry and, no matter how hard you work at it,
it's not producing new groups fast enough to keep up with the number of
unconnected people...it's time to try a new path. Harder won't get to
there. Smarter won't either. Only getting on a new trajectory.
What might the new trajectory be? In small group ministry, the small group connection was a new trajectory. It identified leaders where you didn't know you had them. HOST was a new trajectory.
It identified leaders from the edges of the congregation and even the
crowd and then connected people to groups far beyond what anyone
New trajectories, new paths, lead to a different destination. Want to go somewhere different? Get on a different path.
Gary McIntosh says the first two commonalities among all turnarounds are 1) someone in authority defines reality, and 2) a sense of urgency is created, painting the potential of the church vs. its current, painful reality.
Rich Frazer says a declining church should ask itself questions like these: "What part of our purpose and vision is not working anymore that either needs to be thrown out or revised? What could be transformed and realigned?" …
In 1 Cor. 9, Paul gives advice to church leaders on how to merge into the community. What are you willing to give up in your cultural heritage in order to reach people? (Aubrey Malphurs in the Society for Church Consulting's Level 3 training …