2 min read

Two weeks ago, I wrote about a three-dimensional model for organizational readiness. I’m thinking this model could be used as a tool to foster the changes needed to help a church move toward its desired future.

To become a driver of the future, you have to prepare yourself today as though that future had already arrived. Most churches design their discipleship and leadership development programs to meet the needs of their current situation. Very few focus on their future vision and work backwards from there.

When you train only for today, then when the future comes, you won’t be ready to enter it as a driving force. Instead, you will find yourself reacting to the onslaught of change (sound familiar?).

The only churches that thrive in today’s environment are those that set the pace for the future. By creating a readiness development plan that works backward from the future, your church can become a pace-setter in the whirling world of change

Are you ready for your desired future? It’s great to have dreams and aspirations, but you can’t wait until they happen to get ready for them. You have to start today preparing today.

It’s a bit like building the molds for pouring concrete. Whether you’re talking about huge hydro-electric dams or the foundations of a tool shed, the concept is the same. Concrete work always begins with building the molds that will hold the cement until it sets. In the same way, your congregation can prepare the molds for its future leadership needs.

I used to climb a little when I lived in South America. But I know for a fact that, if I wanted to try that again today, I would have to spend a lot of time getting ready.

So, how do you get ready as a church?

Start out by gathering your to ministry team and brainstorming about where your congregation is going. Once your vision of the future is clear, develop a list of knowledge, skills, and values that you’ll need in that future. Then create a plan for acquiring those things. Then, of course, you need to work the plan.

You can use the three-dimensional model of organizational readiness as a pipeline to the future. When that future comes, you’ll be ready to pour yourself into the mold because the mold has already been prepared.

Diagram of the pipeline of readiness



Photo: Ghost Congregation by Brent Moore, June 18, 2010. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. Modified.

Portrait of Dr. Waddell

Dr. Greg Waddell is passionate about helping church leaders equip their people for ministry. He believes there is wild potential in every believer that begs to be released. He can help you develop and implement practical strategies for increasing the ministry capacity of your congregation.