I could ask the question differently. I could ask what is preventing your church from growing faster. I could ask what is preventing your congregation from growing deeper in relationship with Christ. I could ask the question relative to any specific goal you have what is preventing you from acheiving it. But I really want you to think about your ministry holistically. What are your ministry bottlenecks?
Sometimes the bottleneck appears to be finances. Sometimes the bottleneck appears to be human resources or volunteers. Sometimes that bottleneck appears to be a cohesive vision. I am going to say that none of these things are really bottlenecks. All of them are symptoms of a different bottleneck. A leadership bottleneck.
Leadership can turn a financial bottleneck around by asking – what can we do with the finances available? Leadership can turn a financial bottleneck around by asking if this goal is as or more important that other goals that are already funded? Leadership can turn a staff or volunteer bottleneck around by asking what can we accomplish with the staff and volunteers available? Leadership can turn a staff or volunteer bottleneck around by asking if this goal is as or more important that other goals that are already funded? Leadership can decide – not that there aren’t consequences, every decision has consequences.
Leadership can take a lack of cohesive vision, and reduce it to a set of prioritized goals. Leadership can create a plan to accomplish each goal, in time as resources become available. These goals don’t need to be big, overwhelming goals, requiring miraculous moving of God. Goals can be simple walk before you run steps.
While your goals can be big, your plans should be realistic, based on the resources at your disposal. The smaller your resources, the smaller your steps. Make your plans public. Celebrate when each step is complete – along the way to acheiving the goal. Let people help you acheive, let people help you plan.
Of course, God can bless you with all kinds of resources, money, vision, people. But if you don’t have goals and plans to acheive them, are you really ready for God to bless you? Your goals should inspire your church to pray. Your goals should inspire your church to act. Your goals should inspire your church to give. Helping acheive your goals should cause your church to grow, either in depth or in size, both are needed.
The true bottleneck is not the lack of finances, people or vision. The true bottleneck the inablility of leadership to set goals and establish plans to acheive them.