Let’s talk about the power of momentum.
Often, we don’t know what causes momentum in the ministry context, but its effects are undeniable.
Momentum speeds up progress, and it propels our ministry forward. Momentum accelerates the sense that something out of the ordinary is taking place. It gives rise to an environment of excitement, and it creates the energy leaders need to advance significant ministry initiatives.
There was momentum regarding the news of Jesus’ resurrection, fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit. You remember the text from Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
Of course, the result was momentum: Pentecost, the birth of the church and the spread of the gospel message. Never underestimate the power of momentum.
Now, the opposite is also true.
Momentum speeds up progress, and it propels our ministry forward. Momentum accelerates the sense that something out of the ordinary is taking place.
A lack of momentum can cause a whole lot of frustration in our leadership: Poor attendance, a less-than-stellar level of giving, difficulty getting people to serve, or feeling like you are always running uphill.
If you are dealing with frustration, the logical questions are, “What is the source of momentum? How does it start?”
I like this definition of momentum. It is the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or a course of events. There are two important thoughts here – process and a course of events.
Process as a driving force
I am convinced that churches who take the time to develop an intentional system or process of discipleship can help create momentum for their ministry. I believe a renewed focus on the process of making disciples is a wise investment of our time, money and resources.
Perhaps, that is why Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” In other words, we are called to prioritize the privilege of growing in and through our relationship with Christ and also our task of making disciples of Jesus Christ, also known as the Great Commission.
Jean-Claude Larréché, in his book The Momentum Effect, How to Ignite Exceptional Growth, talks about how processes can help companies and organizations deliver continuous and exceptional momentum year after year. He says it like this: First, build your wave, then ride it.
Working to ensure that every aspect in a church’s disciple-making process is aligned and relentlessly focused on making disciples who make disciples can help build that wave.
Driving momentum with a course of events
The second aspect of momentum’s definition that I found helpful was developing a course of events. I believe our School of Congregational Development may just be the event to ignite momentum in your ministry.
The School of Congregational Development’s design team is strategically and intentionally building a wave for annual conference leaders, clergy and laypersons to ride as they network, worship and learn together at this year’s conference, appropriately themed Momentum. It will be Aug. 15-18 in San Diego.
Have you ever noticed that when you throw a rock or a pebble into a body of water, it creates a ripple effect? What I am saying to you is that the smallest of objects thrown into a body of water can have lasting impact. Such is the same for learning and discovering new things.
Discipleship Ministries and Global Ministries are assembling a group of leaders for the School of Congregational Development who will bring innovation, creativity, best practices and real experiences to this year’s Momentum in beautiful San Diego. They will share first-hand knowledge of what God is doing through their leadership.
Trust me, you will be inspired and equipped to ride the wave with new knowledge and plans to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. You will meet and network with outstanding leaders who are in trenches every single day, working to strengthen our communities and our congregations.
I want to invite you personally to catch the wave this summer and meet me at the School of Congregational Development in San Diego. We are excited to be hosted by the California-Pacific Annual Conference as we move boldly into the future.
Scholarships are available to take care of registration for racial ethnic leaders, small churches, and leaders from the California-Pacific Conference and the Western Jurisdiction. But you need to act fast because they are available on a first-come,-first-served basis.
Do you want to become a momentum leader? Build your wave. Let’s ride it together.
May God continue to bless your ministry, and I will see you on the mission field.
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For more information and to register for the School of Congregational Development, Aug. 15-18 in San Diego, go to https://bit.ly/2HrwQsh.