Build Your Influence Through Small Positive Investments

img_4098A few days ago, we began a series of posts on building influence in the local church because we know that pastors/church leaders have to have a certain amount of influence before they can confidently begin exercising action.  Today, we continue with the second method of building your influence credits (You can check out Method 1 here).
Method 2 – Small Positive Investments 
Another great way to build influence with your new church is to make small positive investments over a period of time.  When you first arrive at a church, you are likely to notice the glaring “eyesores” that the family no longer sees.  Usually, these small imperfections are the perfect place to make small investments that will help you in building your influence.  Here are 4 places to look for opportunities that’ll yield large returns:
  • The Worship Service
    • By in large, most churches have small modifications that can be made to their worship services that will help them transition from one section to the next with greater ease.  When considering these minor changes, express to the parties involved that your desire to help them feel better as they navigate through the service and that the smoother the transitions the less distraction the congregation feels.  While it may take some time to accomplish, the congregation will maintain a spirit of worship without the bumpy transitions and the worship team personnel will find that they are confident, and subsequently, more content serving in the capacity that they have been called.
  • The Bulletin
    • The church bulletin, in most churches, is one of the sacred cows.  Everyone wants their information in it for their particular ministry, but when all the ministries are presented in the bulletin, there is far too much information for anyone to read and retain.  Develop a format for what and when items go into the bulletin.  For example:
      • A large demographic event is advertised in the bulletin 4-6 weeks prior to the event (Mission Trip, Vacation Bible School, Kid’s Camp, Youth Camp, Trunk or Treat, Special Event Sunday).
      • A small demographic event is advertised in the bulletin 1-2 weeks prior to the event (Day Trip to the Beach, Youth Car Wash, Kid’s Day Out to the Zoo, Southern Gospel Sing, etc).
      • A Sunday School/Life Group event isn’t advertised in the bulletin.  Put it in the church newsletter, make frequent announcements about it in Sunday School/Life Groups, or put it on the Sunday morning slideshow.
    • This transition allows the general church body, and any guests, to immediately pick up on the primary areas of emphasis in the church and prevents them from getting overwhelmed with too much information.
  • The Building/Grounds
    • When you look to tackle this small investment, you’re going to want to bring a pad and pencil.  Spend some time looking at the church grounds and facility.  Take note of any chips or dings in the sheet rock.  Take note of areas that could use a touch of paint.  Make sure you look at the grounds as a guest would look at them and consider your first impression.  Then, progressively, try to improve those minor imperfections.  While most people may not notice, the ones that do will appreciate that you care for “their” facility and it will put some influential coins in your pocket.
  • The People
    • Lastly, make small investments into the people.  This is a big one!  People want to know that you care about them and one of the best ways that you can show that is by assisting and elevating them.
      • Assist them by asking them if there are any improvements that they would like to see happen, as it relates to their area of service.  Maybe there is a copy machine that needs to be fixed, a piano that needs tuning, a slight temperature modification, the preferable classroom layout.  Look for ways to make their service less complicated and most people will appreciate your efforts for it.
      • Elevate them by taking specific notes on the positive investments and efforts that they are making.  Handwrite a note that explicitly addresses something positive that you saw them do.  Show honor to those who have served faithfully for extended periods of time or through periods of personal duress.  Put room signs on the door outside of their classroom with their name and class description, it will add to their personal investment in what takes place in the class.
Now, some of the things that I have listed may not be the right fit for your church but, hopefully, I helped you think of some of your own ideas on how to make small investments in order to gain influence in the lives of those whom God has called you to serve.
Now, we want to hear from you!  What type of small investments has worked for you in the past?  What are some that didn’t work at all?
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