Growing Your Ministry Through…Constraints
Church ministry leadership can be difficult: limited time, limited (or no) budget, and the constant need to recruit volunteers and resources. As a ministry leader in these circumstances, you can either lose hope or grow your ministry. Often, the best way to handle these constraints is to focus on what is necessary and leave the rest behind. Let’s look closer at these constraints and what you can do about them.
Every leader is faced with budget constraints, but for most, it means having no budget at all. When I first started as a web ministry leader, we had no budget, one cobbled together computer, and little else. It can be tough to meet the needs of your staff, church members, and visitors when little budget remains. However, it is often under these conditions where the
Growing while under budget constraints:
- If the task is important, spend the time to research your needs – we found that many software companies provide discounted or free licenses, which helped our web ministry take off sooner
- Learn to budget with little – spend the time to learn how to manage whatever budget you have, even if you simply create a spreadsheet of what you need and what it costs, along with any spending to date. Staff often respect the stewardship of a ministry’s budget, so show them how you’d use the money to grow the ministry
- People put money behind vision and value, not need – focus on what you do and how you do it; you may begin to see your budget increase once your staff see that you deliver value consistently
Resource constraints take the form of lack of skillsets, solutions, or volunteers. Lack of certain skillsets can limit your ministry’s ability to execute and will often reduce the solutions available to you. A lack of volunteers means that not everything on your list will get done.
Growing while under resource constraints:
- Less solutions available can often mean you will have to select the best option available at the time, but you will have more time to execute as you won’t get bogged down in research or decisions by commitee; it may also mean that you should walk away for now and concentrate on other opportunities
- Lack of skillsets cause you to take a different view of a problem and finding more creative solutions
- Lack of people forces you to focus on what is important and let go of the rest; the opposite of this is to spend more time doing more, which never works for the long term and can ruin your health and your family
Of the three contraints that we are focusing on, time is the worst – you can’t make more of it and it keeps moving even when you aren’t. What people don’t realize is that time is sometimes our biggest ally.
Growing while under time constraints:
- Time constrains us to be the best we can be in the time we have
- Time focuses us so that we can realize our true priorities
- Time enables us to depend upon God to get things done and grow closer to him
So, the next time you find yourself constrained by missing volunteers, budget, skillsets, time, or solutions, consider it as an opportunity for God to grow you and your ministry beyond your expectations.
[tags]iron triangle, ministry leadership, volunteering, volunteer management, recruiting volunteers[/tags]
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