If your goal is to pursue a cultural shift from an internally focussed, self-fulfilling, self-seeking, consumer driven ministry to an externally focussed, servant hearted, God purposed ministry, then how do you cement it within the culture of the congregation?
You can talk about it. That often looks like sermons and is often the only thing that is done by some. Or you can talk about it and model it yourself as the leader/pastor. Or you can talk about it, model it, and take someone with you. Or further still you can talk about it, model it, take someone with you and enable opportunities for others to live it out.
But then what? Complete the loop by lifting up what is done by recognizing those actions in very public ways. Praise God for it in worship through prayers, sermon illustrations, first person testimonies, videos of the events and actions and even go one step further through intentionally recognizing what is done. The idea is not necessarily to praise the person but the behavior that is empowered by Christ. Make an intentional effort to look for it, identify it, point to it and say, “that’s what we’re after! That’s our vision in action! Thank you who all who have done this as a witness for us and a service to your neighbor! You guys did a great job of blessing people with opportunities to use their gifts in service to others. We praise God for you! Yeah God!”
In short it is a celebration of what God is doing in your midst and reinforces its importance of the vision of where your congregation is going. Affirmation is a powerful tool that God speaks of often in the scriptures (Matt 24:21, 23 & others).
Guiding principles:
  •  Start with your vision/mission/values in deciding what kind of behavior/servant leadership you want to reward and reinforce.
  • Gather a management committee to contribute to the design or the rewards/recognition, gather names for nominations and publicize the event(s).
  • Design follow up activities to further reinforce and communicate what you value at your church.
  • Design your presentation carefully to honor God who gives the gifts while affirming the sacrificial modeling of service displayed by the recipients.
  • Recognition can take many forms from pats on the back to thank you notes to annual recognition awards and many more.
Coaching Questions:
  • What behavior(s) do you want to reward (recognize/ highlight/lift up)?
  • How is that behavior(s) in alignment with your vision?
  • How will you recognize it (lift it up) as a model for the behavior of others?
  • How can this recognition be repeated?
  • Is there a tangible symbol of that behavior(s)? (A pen, a paperweight, a framed picture, a trophy, other object that symbolizes the desired behavior, etc) that can be given away regularly in recognition of the behavior?
  • How can you involve others in a process for defining, identifying and recognizing those who model that behavior(s)?
  • What about you? How are you intentionally modeling that behavior which is in alignment with the vision?
  • How are you sharing the story or showing others what you are doing (which demonstrates its priority and importance)?
  • What is your next step?
Empowerment Part 12 Reinforcing Empowerment & Vision

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