There is much to be gained by introducing the Readiness 360 process (customized survey, three reports and step-by-step guides) to your congregation. One or more of the benefits below may be of value to you.
Know Where To Start.
As anyone who has gotten lost knows, you can’t get where you want to go without knowing where you are. Whether you want to start a new worship service, a new ministry site or even to revitalize an existing faith community, you have to know where your starting point is in order to create the plan to get you where you want to go. The Readiness 360 report helps congregations gain shared, unprecedented insight as to where they are so that any new vision, goal or ministry becomes more achievable.
Many churches are overwhelmed by the cultural divide that has set in between them and their community, or by their financial challenges or by their aging base of workers and donors. They are unable to think of moving beyond survival or maintaining slow decline. In many cases, the leader energy is very limited at the moment – so if we do not spend that energy wisely, it will all go to activity that will not bear much fruit.
Readiness 360 helps a church to discover exactly where it is in 4 key areas. Even if a church is languishing outwardly, the church will find encouragement in a report that celebrates what is right about them! Moreover, knowing where you really are is critical if you want to begin taking first steps toward the place you wish to be! Readiness 360 is like a Global Positioning System that helps a church to discover exactly where it is, so that it can see which way to go, and what path will most dependably get it moving toward God’s preferred future.
The best plans in the world are of no use when your wagon is stuck in the mud. Likewise cutting edge ministry strategies or great ideas result in frustration if a church is stuck. Readiness 360 helps churches identify sticking points, get out of the mud, and strengthen their road-worthiness for the great journey God has in store! Readiness 360’s report not only helps a church see more clearly both its core competencies as well as those areas that are not yet there, it also points a church toward specific steps forward that build on these areas of relative strength and gets churches unstuck.
Many church growth programs address symptoms and prescribe action without accounting for the underlying strengths and challenges that are driving the current reality. Once the action phase is over or the prescriptions are followed, one of two patterns has emerged in many cases… either there was no visible fruit from all the effort or there was a burst of short-lived improvement that will fade within a few months back into patterns of stuckness.
Readiness 360 does not lead a congregation to jump into ministry where it is unequipped to go! Rather, this tool helps us understand how a church is uniquely wired, what real strengths it brings to the table, pointing to specific ways that a church’s foundations can be developed, where it can find encouraging quick wins, and where a church needs to wait for now.
Multiply Your Impact.
You don’t have to be big to multiply. You don’t have to want to grow to multiply. You do have to want to be like Jesus in order to multiply your kingdom impact and you may have to refocus on the basics in order to actually start multiplying. Readiness 360 does not focus on church growth, but rather on the idea of being faithful stewards; on being who we are, seeing what we have and doing what matters to God. If you deeply desire to make a meaningful difference in the world and in the lives of their children and neighbors for Christ, the Readiness 360 can help you focus your congregation on multiplying its kingdom impact!
While most American churches have been caught in a paradigm of adding and subtracting for longer than most of us have been alive. Some have done the opposite. We have studied those outliers and have learned that what they are doing any church–of any size, culture, context or color–can do. We describe this as changing from a maintenance mindset of addition/subtraction to a multiplication one. This is perhaps the single greatest difference between most churches that are thriving in the twenty-first century and those who are not. Thriving churches practice multiplication and division. Through focusing on four areas of multiplication DNA, Readiness 360 seeks to increase each church’s capacity for real and lasting change, and the creative energy for endless ministry innovation.
Change the Story.
Your church can get started immediately doing the right things for right now: things that position you to multiply your kingdom impact. No need to wait for a capital campaign or for a committee decision! Leadership is finally about helping a community change its story. It is about helping a people or an organization shift directions, sometimes in small but significant ways that produce enormous consequences over time. Readiness 360 is a tool for empowering church leaders to lead their churches toward life, toward renewal and toward a future that is befitting the Christian gospel and far-reaching across time.
It is not inevitable that half the current churches in the USA will close in the next fifty years. It is likely, based on current trends, but not inevitable. There is another possible story line for all the at-risk congregations in America. Great leadership is about partnering with God to change the story line. Is this not what spiritual leadership has been across the centuries?
God’s preferred future is that every church might thrive in its ministry and offer a tangible blessing to the people within its reach. At Readiness 360, we derive great joy from the fact that we are equipping spiritual leaders in ways that can help them truly write a new story in countless churches and communities.