Part 8: How can I make changes stick in the midst of everyday ministry?
Note: This is Part 8 of a multi-part series. Check out the entire Making Changes Stick Toolkit for more ideas you can use today to help lead change in your ministry.
Leaders are inundated with so many opportunities and responsibilities. In implementing Sticky Faith changes, our tendency is to make this part of our regular leadership team meetings – but that typically does not work well. These important changes get swallowed up by the seemingly urgent and immediate priorities we face week after week.
Instead, designate a separate Sticky Faith team that will meet every 3 weeks or so. The first thing this group should do is to pray. Then, make specific action plans. One action plan is to assign tasks that will be done in between meetings. It is best if the youth pastor is not the one who is following up on those tasks, because he or she is likely the person the most swamped by carrying out these tasks. Designate a team member or volunteer whose job it is told hold everyone’s feet to the fire.
The first couple of months will go well because you’re excited.
Sooner or later, the mundane will catch up to you. It will be the job of the person designated to follow up with others (especially the youth leader) in between meetings to remind them that they must keep Sticky Faith at the forefront of their agenda. If they do not, the regular activities of life will take over and derail your efforts to make changes stick.
All of the hard work you’ve been doing throughout this series has the potential to serve as a catalyst for lasting change in your ministry and congregation. The key is to keep up momentum and stay focused.
You cannot do this on your own.
If you have not already created a Sticky Faith leadership team, then now is the time. The following steps are important, and they will help to create a framework to make sure your changes really do stick:
- Decide who will be part of your Sticky Faith leadership team. The ideal size of this team will vary based on your context. Consider inviting those from your regular adult leadership team, a parent(s), a church staff member, a senior adult, and possibly a mature student leader.
- Right away, put your meetings for the next few months on the calendar, approximately every 3 weeks.
- Choose a volunteer who will be responsible for following up with others to make sure they accomplish their tasks in between meetings.
- Make sure that at the end of each meeting, you have a clear list of tasks that will be accomplished by the next meeting.
- If you have not yet started, then begin prayerfully working through each section of the Making Changes Stick Toolkit! If you have already started, then continue your work, revisiting the toolkit resources as necessary. The following questions can help keep you on track between meetings:
- What has shown the most change since our last meeting? How can we celebrate small victories?
- Are there areas where we’re getting stuck or where we need to reevaluate?
- In general, does it feel like we’re still on the right track?
- What needs to be accomplished in the next three weeks? By whom?
Reflection questions for you and your team:
- What have we learned from the Making Changes Stick Toolkit?
- What new stories are we now telling?
- What are some big changes we’ve seen take place?
- How has this process changed us personally?
- Where do we go from here?
Resources to Go Deeper:
Consider joining the Sticky Faith Cohort - A dynamic learning group of other innovative churches committed to taking the research and applying it to their settings to offer more transformative youth and family ministry.
Hopefully this toolkit has given you some principles and best practices to help you make changes stick in your own context. For more information on Sticky Faith, visit stickyfaith.org, follow us on Twitter, or read our blog. We are so grateful to partner with you in the Sticky Faith movement!