You’ve heard the old saying: “We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.” As leaders, if we’re not careful, we will allow this mindset to infiltrate our leadership decision making process. Sometimes we get all starry-eyed over some “thing,” some “program,” or some “new staff member” that another church has. And we think that if we just had that in our church we would be much better off. And the truth is – that may be correct. But it may also be incorrect. As the leader, it is your job to “justify” your ministry needs before leading your church to pursue them!
In my secular management career, before I purchased a new piece of production equipment, I always justified the purchase. Part of the process meant fully utilizing that piece of equipment before purchasing another. In other words, if I had a piece of production equipment fully utilized on one shift, then before I added a new piece of equipment, I added an off shift to maximize machine utilization. As Spiritual leaders, you need to discipline yourselves to think like this. For example, before building new education space ask yourself: Could we utilize the same space at a different time? Could we meet at an offsite location, say a restaurant? Before building a new sanctuary ask yourself: Could we have two services at different times on Sunday morning?
I have given you one example of how to justify your ministry needs. However, there are many other questions you need to ask and answer when justifying a need. You need to make your team do the same. For example: What are the pros? What are the cons? Is it really needed? Is their buy-in from the key leaders? Can we afford it? Have we sought an unbiased opinion? And on and on I could go. My simple leadership point to you today is that whether it be hiring a new staff person, buying a new piece of equipment, building a new church, or implementing a new program – discipline yourself to go through the justification process. And if you cannot justify it – don’t do it! There’s an old saying among carpenters that applies here: “Measure twice. Cut once!”
You can thank me later!