I love working in the local church. However, every time I visit a church I have to establish credibility and trust so that I can have some influence. Anytime you start attending or serving at a new local church those who are willing to put in the time will eventually gain credibility, influence, and opportunity to truly disciple people in the church into a deeper life with Jesus.
The below 6 points aren’t my own. I took them from Brenton Hayden, the founder of the founder and chairman of the board of Renters Warehouse. A Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Business graduate. You can read his full article here.
While he is referring to building a business and a brand, I think know the same principles can be applied to our personal lives so we can have effective local church ministry.
1. Define your values and mission.
Hayden: First off, decide what your authenticity lies in. You’ll need to choose which values you are ready to commit to unwaveringly.
Dan: In a church or ministry ensure there is significant alignment between you, the leadership, and known objectives. Nothing is more painful or frustrating than serving on a ministry team moving in different directions. please don’t be the person who derails the direction.
2. Get to know your personality and the personality of your brand. (church)
Hayden: Is your personality and your brand’s personality aligned? You are the face of your company, and it’s important to make sure your branding is compatible with who you are.
Dan: As a volunteer you are a representative of a leader, ministry, church, and most critically Jesus. How well is your life, church, and ministry reflecting Jesus? When Jesus isn’t present, you shouldn’t be either.
3. Set your boundaries.
Hayden: It’s important to be aware of your boundaries and to know the difference between stretching yourself for growth and allowing others to push you past your comfort zone. Draw a line in the sand, and as important issues arise, take a stand. Decide which things you will be unwavering on.
Dan: In my ministry I grow the most when Godly leaders challenge my decisions based on their values. Values are not doctrine. Values are guidelines for life influenced by our understanding of scripture. Don’t be afraid to stand on your values, and don’t be afraid to step up or step-out of a ministry that forces you to compromise. In all things look for unity if the issue is not heretical, but preferential.
4. Determine how and where you will showcase your authenticity.
Hayden: Look for opportunities to showcase your authenticity. Whether it’s online with social media or your blog, or in behind-the-scenes interactions with others, get to know your audience and allow them to know you too.
Dan: A friend of mine taught me a formula for ministry. Friendship * Vision= Tasks. In other words. Friendship first. People need to know you for who you are, and how God has created you. It will also help you discover others you align with. Form the friendship and multiply a vision for God’s kingdom. Also, from friendship conflict can be navigated healthily.
5. Be consistent.
Hayden: Keep your messages consistent. The messages that you’re sending out through marketing, promotions and social media should be in line with the in-person experience that you provide to customers.
Dan: It’s called authentic integrity. What you do, say, enjoy, should be the same in person and online and in your closest friendships and common acquaintances. No one trust the chamelon. Does that mean we share every detail? No, but your behaviors, attitude, and expectation are the same in all aspects of life.
6. Prepare for backlash.
Hayden: Finally, be prepared for opposition. When you gain a certain level of publicity, you’re going to have haters. Plain and simple. Don’t let this discourage you or distract you from your values and mission. Stay true to your beliefs, and you’ll gain respect from those around you. Your loyal customer base will have your back!
Dan: I seek to serve the Lord, and build his church. In the process I’m going to make enemies on top of the supernatural ones I already have. Usually, it’s because of a clash in values and mission. However, when Jesus is first and friendships thrive you can disagree and still move the kingdom forward together.