This has been rolling around in my head all week.
In order for any ministry (or organization, or business, or church) to be successful, there are two steps that must take place:
1. Get Started
2. Keep Going
They are the two steps every successful organization must have taken, right?
Yet, as obvious as it sounds, it is so easy to overlook the importance of getting started and not stopping. For one thing, they are probably the hardest steps to take.
I have been in many situations where an awesome idea has run out of steam because I was paralyzed by the administrative details. I never felt ready enough to take the plunge and start. While preparation is necessary and beneficial, there comes a point in which you just need to start (with the realization that you can always improve along the way). It turns out that actually starting is hard and scary no matter how much preparation you do.
Let me clarify, however, that I am not saying that preparation and planning are not important. It is! (Besides it’s the funnest part, in my opinion). But as you prepare – set a start date, and stick to it.
As for the second part,that it is even harder…for 3 reasons.
1. Poor turn out – it feels like the effort isn’t worth the benefit, and you wonder if there is any hope for improvement. It just seems easier to quit or take breaks. The turn out will never get better unless you prove that you’re consistent. Your audience has to trust you that you’re always going to be there before they will commit.
2. You’re bored – you want to experience the fun planning stage again. This is often manifested in unnecessary name and logo changes (I am guilty of that one). But keep in mind that when you start over, you start everything over. You lose all the value of your previous work.
3. You’re overthinking – the ministry isn’t turning out how you expected, and you feel like the marketing you started with doesn’t fit. You want to change the name or logo because (to you) they aren’t congruent with the actual ministry. Remember that names, logos, and marketing are, in reality, the least important aspect to your target audience once they’ve committed to attending.
Important changes are often necessary as a ministry matures and grows, but let me encourage you that the more you can keep consistent, the stronger your “brand image” will be. Stick to your guns.