Motivating the Start-Up by Doug Murren
One of the best ways to build morale in an early work is recording milestones. This can be done ahead of time or after. But every church has milestones they can see ahead or have added to their success. I think there are several categories that could be looked at: financial, staffing, locations, impact on people’s lives measured by conversions, and missional progress.
One milestone may be a major gift that started you in a new level of ministry. Or a milestone may be the first person that receives Christ. Or your first baptism. Celebrating these steps of progress builds morale. And morale is the most valued asset of any church. So build it step by step.
Parties are great to celebrate milestones through as well. Have some cake and coffee after a service celebrating a milestone. Keep a record of successful events and report and review them regularly in newsletter form.
One Tuesday afternoon I asked God for an African American keyboardist, for the owner of the lot next to us to sell even though he had obstinately refused many times and for someone to head up the construction of an addition we were planning.
I told my partner in the ministry God was going to answer that day. That afternoon a talented African American keyboardist came into our offices and said she felt she was supposed to see if we needed a keyboardist. And our neighbor called me over to talk under his large cedar tree. He said he was ready to sell. And to top the day off a builder, new to the church, who had just retired, asked if he could help on our addition project. It was a great day. I talked about those milestones for years and still do.
Stories are the backbone of every great church. Stop and make a list of milestones that you will pass by faith. Share them with your leaders and watch them grow from seeds in your heart.
Look forward as well to milestones that await you. It could be hiring your first staff person or getting your first meeting place. Or setting up your first board. Or maybe your first public meeting. Whatever it is mark it, celebrate it, record it, and communicate it.