Maximization: The church and its ministers and ministries operate at optimal levels of effectiveness and efficiency

20 Questions To Discern Good From Best

“Good is the enemy of great” is the first sentence of Jim Collins’ business best seller, Good to Great.

Collins goes on to say, “and that is one of the reasons that we have so little that becomes great.  We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, precisely because it is easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of companies never become great precisely because they become quite good. – and that is their main problem.”

Good Can Be The Enemy of Best

Collins’ observations about companies can be applied to churches as well. Good can actually become the enemy of best. There are activities and ministries in your church that are good. They honor God, build up the body of Christ and extend the Kingdom. Yet, viewed through a different lens can be seen as taking up precious time and valuable resources that could be spent on more purposeful ministries with a higher potential Kingdom impact.

But, how can you discern the merely good ministries from the best? How with a constant flow of ideas, requests and opportunities for Kingdom impact confronting you can you distinguish those with the most impact, identify the demand they will place on resources, and determine the likelihood they can be implemented successfully?

The following set of questions are designed to comprehensively view a ministry through 20 different lens. Before proceeding with a decision or recommendation on a current or potential ministry opportunity, answer all the questions for analyzing level of impact and preparedness.

Twenty Questions For Discerning Good From Best

1. Spiritual: What indications are there the initiative is God’s will?

2. Agreement: What is the degree of staff and lay agreement, support, affirmation? High/Medium/Low

3.Principles: Is the initiative consistent with the church’s mission, values and doctrine? How so?

4. Priorities: What is the degree to which the initiative addresses the church’s objectives and goals? Scale of 1-10

5. Alignment: What is the degree to which the initiative supports the church’s core strategies in worship, discipleship, service and missions? Scale of 1-10

6. Impact: What is the degree of potential Kingdom impact on the church’s mission, vision, objectives, goals and strategies? High/Medium/Low

7. Probability of Success: What is the likelihood of the initiative being well received by church leadership and the target audience and implemented successfully? High/Medium/Low

8. Risk/Reward: What is the degree of risk versus potential reward? High Risk/Low Reward; High Risk/High Reward; Low Risk/High Reward; Low Risk/Low Reward

9. Cost/Benefit: Are there budgeted funds for the initiative? If not, how will it be funded? What is the demand on the church’s facilities and support services? High/Medium/Low

10. Capacity: Is there sufficient staff, lay leader and volunteer time and motivation to see this initiative through? If not, what additional staff and/or volunteers will be required?

11. Trade Offs: If we do this what will we not be able to do and/or have to stop doing?

12. Competency: Do we have the current staff and/or lay competency to successfully implement this initiative? If not, what type of competencies will be required and how will they be secured?

13. Champion: Is there a staff and/or lay champion who will lead this initiative? Who is it?

14. Problem Avoidance: What potential problems might we foresee if this initiative is implemented? If it is not implemented?

15. Obstacles: What are the obstacles to implementing this initiative? How will they be addressed?

16. Precedent: Do we have a track record with this type of initiative? What were the results?

17. Relational: Who will be impacted most by this initiative? Who will benefit? Who might potentially be hurt? Who else needs to be involved in this decision?

18. Goals: What are the Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely goals of the initiative?

19. Metrics: What are the key metrics that indicate success? How and when will they be reported?

20. Communication: What are the channels for communicating the plans and outcomes?

What others would you add?


Posted on August 11, 2015

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

More About Jim

“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5