I am frequently asked how to spur momentum. Every leader wants it, yet it often seems hard to attain—and once we experience momentum, we always want more.
I have been blessed to be part of some tremendous seasons of momentum in churches where I served as pastor or planter. We are beginning to experience some momentum again with Leadership Network.
I am always quick to point out that God is ultimately in control of His kingdom—whether the church or a Christian nonprofit. I get no credit, and don't want it.
But I have also never been afraid to point to what God has done through His people. In my experience, He often allows people to lead. I believe He has gifted each of us with uniqueness and imagination for a reason.
I believe the parable of the talents is an example of the way God wants us, especially as kingdom leaders, to make wise decisions with what He has given us. (That even sounds biblical; see 1 Cor. 12:27).
So how do we stir momentum? How does the body, functioning together, spur momentum?
In my observation, there are three basic ways momentum is usually encouraged:
- Innovation: I'm using this term to highlight improving what is currently existing. This could also be called development. When you take what you have and attempt to make it even bigger or better, people notice, and it makes room for more excitement and more enthusiasm.
Something new often creates more momentum.
- Creativity: Dreaming. Brainstorming. Ideas. Intentional randomness. This part of stirring momentum can be temporary or even one-time activities.
The fact is we can't be more creative than the Creator so don't be afraid to "think outside the box." Creating something unusual or something that has never been tried before gives momentum an explosive potential.
- Change: Change means altering something that currently exists. It creates immediate energy. Momentum. Every time. Change the classes you offer. Change the times of your services. Change the people in leadership.
Change spurs momentum.
Those are the three fuels of momentum I've observed.
It should be noted that not all momentum is positive momentum. There is such a thing as negative momentum, and it can often grow stronger and faster than the positive kind. Sometimes you can get momentum without doing anything. It could be through inactivity, disregard or tragedy. So beware of negative momentum.
Be careful, smart and consistent with trying to spur positive momentum. And, in my experience, you can often reverse negative momentum with more positive momentum. Which, by the way, requires more innovation, creativity or change.
I'm not pretending that's easy. In fact, it's hard. That's why it requires leadership. But figuring out what causes momentum isn't difficult either.
Of course, with any principle, knowing and doing are two different issues. But, at least now you know what I have observed, by experience, about fueling momentum.
And I'm confident someone has better observations than I do.
Ron Edmondson is the CEO of Leadership Network. Previously, he was a pastor, revitalizing two churches and planting two churches. He is passionate about planting churches, but also helping established churches thrive. He loves assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. His specialty is organizational leadership.
For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.
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