the shape of leadership

How to Maximize Your Ministry Strategies

Leadership lessons from Nehemiah

Stephen Blandino on November 27, 2023


Strategy is a part of leadership. Visions don’t happen simply because we want them to. Instead, the vision needs effective strategies to move it into reality. And truth be known, these strategies will change over time.

Take Nehemiah for example. When he mobilized the people of Jerusalem to rebuild the wall, Nehemiah adjusted his strategy when facing opposition.

Nehemiah had the people return to their own work, but he said, “From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were rebuilding the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me” (Nehemiah 4:16­­–18).

One strategy rarely works long-term. It takes continual improvements, modifications, and changes to deliver the greatest impact.

The same is true for churches. Moving from where they are to where they need to be requires clearly defined strategies. That’s obvious as most leaders have created their share of strategies, but in addition they must apply a series of steps to maximize the impact these strategies can make.

Below are seven ways to maximize your strategies.


1. Celebrate Great Strategies

When a strategy is delivering great results, be sure to celebrate the wins. We can get so consumed with creating a strategy that we forget to celebrate when it works. And because most strategies require a team to fully implement them, be sure to give credit to the people who have done the work.


2. Accelerate Effective Strategies

Resources should not be allocated equally. Good stewardship requires us to allocate more time, energy, money, and people to the strategies that are most effective and delivering the greatest impact. Aggressively resourcing effective strategies pours fuel on the fire of your church’s impact.


One strategy rarely works long-term. It takes continual improvements, modifications, and changes to deliver the greatest impact.

3. Elevate Good Strategies

Sometimes a strategy delivers good results, but with a few tweaks, it could deliver great results. You can elevate a strategy from good to great by making modifications and adjustments that improve its overall effectiveness.

We’ve done this multiple times with our guest assimilation and engagement pathway. It’s constantly being tweaked and modified to help us getter better at connecting guests to the life of the church. Don’t settle for good. Make the tweaks necessary to elevate the strategy to a new level of impact.


4. Renovate Tired Strategies

Even the best strategies become tired over time. I once heard a consultant say that hotels renovate their properties every seven years. That’s when the hotel looks and feels tired. They understand that a good renovation will attract customers for years to come.

The same is true with tired strategies in your church. A strategy may not need to be retired, but it may need some renovations to make it more effective, more fruitful, and more relevant to the audience it’s designed to serve.


5. Evaluate Inefficient Strategies

Some strategies do a great job fulfilling a specific purpose. The problem is, they simultaneously burn through time, energy, money, and people. Simply put, the strategy is great at fulfilling a meaningful purpose but unsustainable in its current design. Leaders need to evaluate inefficient strategies and look for ways to improve their long-term sustainability.


6. Terminate Fruitless Strategies

Every strategy has a shelf life. No strategy lasts forever. Therefore, leaders need the discernment to know when it’s time to terminate a fruitless strategy. If it’s not producing fruit, then it’s poor stewardship to continue promoting, funding, and resourcing the strategy. Give thanks for the difference the strategy has made, but then put it to rest.


7. Innovate Scalable Strategies

Most leaders have a continual stream of ideas and strategies that race through their minds. The question is, which strategies should you innovate and bring to life? My recommendation is to innovate strategies that can scale with your church’s growth. Strategies that don’t scale eventually become the lid to your church. The best strategies don’t just help you reach your current potential, but they help you grow your future capacity.

Which of the insights above need more of your attention? Work together with your team to put two or three of your strategies under the microscope, and then apply the seven insights to them. Don’t be afraid to make changes while working together to elevate your impact.

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