Maximize Your Church by Maximizing Your Systems

We all use systems to help us accomplish our objectives every day.

Think about the system you have for getting dressed in the morning. You don’t put on your deodorant until you get out of the shower. You drink your coffee before you brush your teeth. Right? There’s a system to the way you prepare yourself for the day that makes getting out of the house faster and easier.

You also have a system for the way you organize your calendar. You have a system for the way you prepare for a Sunday morning… even if you don’t realize it.

In speaking to pastors and church leaders across the country, I end up being on the road a lot. I check in and out of hotels regularly. Until recently, I used to leave something behind almost every time I checked out. I would inevitably forget my cell phone, its charger, my keys, or something else that wouldn’t hit me until I was miles away. So, I developed a simple system.

Now, whenever I go into a hotel room, I put all of my miscellaneous things on top of the television, rather than scattering them across the desk, dresser, bedside tables and bathroom vanities. Since I’ve implemented this system, I don’t have to waste precious time and gas money going back to hotels to pick up the things I’ve left. And I don’t have to deal with the stress of knowing that my phone is going to die any minute or that my house keys are in someone else’s hands. This rudimentary system is doing what a system is meant to do: it’s saving me stress, time, energy and money.

A S.Y.S.T.E.M. is any ongoing process that Saves You Stress, Time, Energy and Money, and continues to produce results. Good systems function under the surface to keep things running smoothly so that you can concentrate on more important priorities. We may not be aware of a good system when it’s running well, but there is no mistaking when something isn’t working like it should.

Can the same thing be true in the church?

We know that the church is a body, so it follows that the church also has systems working beneath the surface. Even if you don’t know how to identify those systems, much less keep them healthy, they are there, both simple and complex, ready to help you achieve God’s purposes for your church.

We may look different on the outside, but underneath each one of us is a function of common machinery. We all have hearts that pump blood, even though we are different blood types. We all have senses that take in the world, though in some of us one sense is more elevated than another. In the same way, all churches are made up of the same exact systems, even though we may view and utilize them in slightly different ways based on our individual calls to ministry.

The question isn’t whether or not these systems are in place, but whether or not they’re being maximized.

The eight systems of every church are interconnected. While some may be more developed than others, none of these systems can stand alone. And since a church is a living entity, like us, the well-developed systems run whether we are thinking about them are not. Still, to make sure that all of our church’s systems are running correctly, we should take them in for a periodic checkup.

If we’re disinterested or lazy about growing and maintaining our systems, they won’t produce the results we want. In other words, slack equals lack. When we become slack in taking care of our systems, we experience lack, and our systems, and therefore our churches, fail to live up to their God-given potential.

We have to do our part to make sure that all eight systems are set up and functioning correctly, so that our churches will be healthy and thriving.

Healthy churches have healthy systems. Eight systems to be exact:

ASSIMILATION: How we move people from first-time guests to fully-engaged members

• EVANGELISM: How we attract more unchurched and mobilize our people to reach more people for Christ

• STEWARDSHIP: How we develop extravagant givers at our church

• MINISTRY: How we mobilize people for significant ministry

• STRATEGY: How we constantly evaluate and improve our church

• SMALL GROUPS: How we fill and reproduce small groups at our church

• LEADERSHIP: How we develop leaders at all levels of our church

• WORSHIP PLANNING: How we plan, implement and evaluate our services

There are simple ways to foster the full potential of your systems — and thereby the full redemptive potential of your church — no matter what stage each one is currently in.

Whether your church is like a brand-new baby, just starting the journey of growth, or like a robust adult in the prime of life, its eight systems are in place, waiting to be maximized for life-changing results.



P.S. Let’s go deeper into the systems this July at the Church Growth and Systems Boot Camp!

At Boot Camp I’ll dive into each system — sharing the latest and most impactful lessons for maximum health and growth. Join me at a new location in Washington, D.C. for 3 packed days of training, on Wednesday, July 26 – Friday, July 28, 2023. This year you’ll also get key church growth principles for each church system as professor and church growth expert Dr. Gary McIntosh joins me LIVE on stage. Kerrick Thomas and Jason Hatley are also back to teach on the systems as well and share learnings from The Journey Church.

Registration is open now — you’ll save 53% when you use your special code: FAMILY.

Plus you can bring your spouse for FREE and enjoy special rates for teams, like 4 guests for just $199 total!

Click here for more details and to secure your spot now using code FAMILY

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Sandra OlivieriAssimilation, Church Growth, Church Systems, Church Systems - General, Coaching, Evangelism, Health, Leadership, Ministry, Stewardship, Strategy, Worship Planning

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