Define Your Process

Defining your ministry process is extremely important.

In our research for Simple Church, we asked vibrant church leaders and comparison church leaders to evaluate how clearly defined their ministry process is. We asked them to state their level of agreement with the following statement: “We have a clearly defined process for moving a person from salvation to spiritual maturity to significant ministry.”

Of the vibrant churches, 53 percent of the church leaders agreed or strongly agreed that they have a clearly defined process. Of the comparison churches, 25 percent of the leaders agreed or strongly agreed. Vibrant churches are more than twice as likely than comparison churches to have a clearly defined process.

So the beginning point is to define your process.

Without definition, people are uncertain about how the church is making disciples. Without definition, people are clueless about how the church is designed to bring people toward spiritual maturity. Without definition, there is room for ambiguity. Most churches are ambiguous about their ministry process, either because they do not have one or because it is loosely defined.

And where there is ambiguity, there is often confusion.

Several times in Miami, ambiguity led to confusion for people who met my wife, who was especially tan from living in South Florida. She was often asked in Spanish, “Como té llama?” which means, “What is your name?”

Since she knows a little Spanish, she would respond appropriately, “Kaye.” Kaye is her name. But Kaye sounds like que. And que means “what?”

So the person would ask the question again in Spanish. This time, a little louder, “Como té llama?” And the person would get the same response. Usually after a few times of asking, the person gave up frustrated. For the Spanish-speaking person, the conversation feels like this:

“What is your name?” “What.”


“What is your name?” “What.”

You get the picture. The moment is filled with ambiguity. Multiple definitions for the same sounding word leads to confusion and frustration.

The same is true with defining a process for church ministry. If the process is not clearly defined so that everyone is speaking the same language, there is confusion and frustration.

If there is not one clearly defined how, people construct multiple interpretations on the direction of the church.


Adapted from Simple Church (B&H Publishing Group, 2006)

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