An increasing gap between the vision and reality signals the need to make a change in your ministry’s direction.
A change in direction can be falsely understood as failure, since it’s a departure from what a leader thought would happen. Yet the ministries that I have observed to be MOST successful make changes swiftly and decisively.
A term that’s popular in the entrepreneurial community is called “the pivot.” A recent post from INC magazine describes what it is:
“Like the basketball maneuver of the same name, in which a player keeps one foot planted while changing direction with the other foot, a pivot occurs when a start-up tests a new direction while still keeping one metaphorical foot in the original business.”
Here’s a simple process for making a pivot:
- Make some clear and focused observations about your current reality; this includes hard and soft data.
- Discern the gap between what you want to see happen and what those in your ministry are doing.
- Shift your direction/structure/strategy to match the existing behavior of those in your ministry.
The clearest and most effective pivot a team I was on made:
- We observed that our small group numbers (hard) and momentum (soft) were significantly less than what we wanted.
- We noticed that those in our ministry did not associate by geography (where they lived) as much as by relationships (who they liked).
- We shifted our small groups that were based on geography (dorms, off-campus) to ones based on relationships (co-ed, on and off campus depending on the group preference).
The amount of people as well as the momentum of our small groups significantly increased and we never looked back.
Have you made a pivot recently? What was the process like?