Good to GreatHow does Jim Collins’ Good to Great apply to Christian ministry? Jim Collins book may not be aimed at ministries, but I’d argue that Good to Great 6 takeaways certainly apply to your ministry.

One thing you should know about this book if you’re in a hurry. There are helpful chapter summaries at the end of each chapter to communicate the main idea. If you cannot read the whole thing, take an afternoon coffee break and flip through these summaries.

Good to Great 6 takeaways for ministry

  1. Be the right sort of leader. Collins talks about “Level 5 leadership.” Basically, you need to take credit for the mistakes of the team (humility), and give credit to others for the success. You need to set your team members up for success, because when they succeed Christ is glorified (OK Collins doesn’t say that…). Lead in such a way that your successor will be shocked at how well the ministry is positioned.
  2. Getting the right people on the team is the most important job of a ministry leader. Even if you are looking for a specific job, the right person is better than the right skills. Think about people with the right character, or heart. You want people who are sold out disciples more than you want people who have the right pieces of paper. This applies to small group leaders, the media team, everything.
  3. Acknowledge the brutal facts. Don’t pretend that your church reaches millenials if they aren’t there. Don’t pretend your church is in great shape financially if it isn’t. Ask your team why they think these brutal facts are the case, and engage in dialogue about solutions. Don’t try and debate people into your position, but instead try and take their ideas and yours and build a solution that fits your context. By doing that, you’ll have more buy in from your team. Collins talks about having absolute faith that you can prevail. Well, in the church world, we’ve read the end of the book – we win!
  4. I would prepare for the next phase of Collins book with a prayer phase first, and then proceed to the questions. In ministry you can apply this book by asking what your church is deeply passionate about (maybe on a leadership team). Then you can ask what your church is good at (again leadership should be encouraged to be honest). Collins talks about then asking what drives your economic engine, and some cause oriented ministries might ask the same thing. Churches might ask what is it that your people seem committed to. Then after those three answers are in place, look for places of overlap and address those areas with a strategy.
  5. Create a culture of discipline and focus. Yes that means you should work hard, as all ministers should. But, it also means focusing on the main thing. Just because First Church of Something does a great Senior ministry trip to the Holy Land, doesn’t mean your church needs to do it too. Stay focused on your ministry strategy. Hopefully you are confident in the vision God has given you for the ministry and you can be focused in your leadership toward that goal. The more you stay focused, the more your people will get it.
  6. Be intentional about the technologies you choose. Then be committed to them. Some churches are not on social media for some reason. Your people are, so our church has chosen to plaster our message all over social media. This past weekend we used #gbcallstargala to tag photos of an event we had to show appreciation to volunteers. Some churches can innovate in technology. Most churches cannot afford to do that. Most churches can afford to figure out where technological solutions actually aid ministry. One example is that we were having trouble keeping up with people wanting to become members of our church. After a while we moved that process to a digital process that we can access from mobile devices. It’s not flawless, but it’s better than it was! Remember, you can get more ideas about how to be intentional about technologies from this blog!

I hope these six principles from Good to Great by Jim Collins have sparked some ideas for your ministry. If you’re interested in buying the book please click my affiliate link that will not cost you any extra money on amazon, but will help me out financially. You can get the book here.

Find out more about Jim Collins here:

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