Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes

Is your church failing? Maybe it should fail a little more.

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Not too long ago I asked a pastor friend of mine to give a talk on how to build good teams. We had a good outline and he used this to give a great talk on. What we walked away with (my partner Al and I) was a list of axioms that Jerven Weekes has at Rosewood Park Alliance in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Jerven’s axioms:
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1. We don’t strive for perfection, we strive for excellence.
– reminds me of the colouring my kids do. They don’t get judged on how well I could do it, they get praised on colouring at their age and skill level. Do the best with the resources you have. Start on time. End on time. Mow the lawn. Clean up the trash. Put musicians in charge of the music. Practice your sermon.
2. In our church, you can fail.  And if you’re not failing (once in a while) what are you doing?
– this requires that we take risks. Try things out and evaluate them. Giving people permission to fail is akin to giving people permission to try something new,
3. We don’t spend time analyzing our success, but we spend a lot of time analyzing our failures.
– my favorite part of a project is the evaluation of the event. I love celebrating the good and getting the kinks worked out. Talking about failure helps to decide if you should try again, try something different, cut your loses or Invest more deeply.
4. There are no ridiculous goals only ridiculous expectations
– Ridiculous expectations aren’t negotiated and many times we are unable to influence their fulfillment. I think many of these show. Up in marriage, “I expected him to be home at 5:00 every day.” “I expected her to have supper ready for me.” Set ambitious goals, but don’t make ridiculous expectations.
5. Don’t run programs, use programs to serve your vision
– If you run Alpha as a program of your church, it is doomed to failure.  It needs to be part of what you do and the whole team (leadership) needs to have bought in.
6. If you can’t do it with excellence, don’t do it.
– what a great way to empty your to do list.

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Author: Robb Massey

I'm a husband, dad, pastor and a coach. I love following Jesus, riding my bike and having fun with my family. We live in wonderful Winnipeg, Manitoba in the prairie heartland of Canada

2 thoughts on “Is your church failing? Maybe it should fail a little more.

  1. #6 is a hard one for pastors. We just want to be able to say “yes” to everything. What most pastors (and members) don’t realize is that every time you say “yes” to something, there’s always a trade off–be it your family, health, excellence, or anything else that’s important and valuable.

  2. I agree with you. Every time you say yes, you say no to every other option. This axiom at least gives a valid reason to hold off doing something.

    Of course, excellence still doesn’t ensure success. But at least you can, in the words of Buzz Lightyear, “Fall with style.”

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