Many churches and ministries struggle because they fail to fully understand the implications of inputs and outputs. Simply, outputs are the results produced by the church or ministry. Inputs are the resources the church or ministry uses to produce those results.
The responsibility of the church staff is to use the church’s resources (inputs), for maximum productivity (outputs) toward accomplishing the church’s mission and vision. To do so the church staff should always start with the premise that they must change the inputs, or resource mix, to increase the outputs, or results.
In other words, you can’t improve productivity and growth without changing the resource mix. Changing the resource mix means changing the way you allocate the following 8 “M Put” Resources: Money, Manpower, Methods, Materials, Mortar and Bricks, Machines, Messages, Mystical.
The 8 M Put Resources That Produce Your Results
The church as a whole as well as each individual ministry has access, to varying degrees, to the following 8 resources to fulfill their mission, vision, and goals. How these 8 resources are allocated is the key to successful results.
#1. Money: Typically this includes budget dollars, special offerings, as well as designated gifts and dollars from fund raisers.
#2. Manpower: This is your people resource – paid ministers and employees, outsourced services, church leaders and ministry volunteers.
#3. Methods: These are the various ministries, strategies, tactics, programs, events, processes, systems and initiatives you offer to accomplish the church’s mission and vision.
#4. Materials: These are your key supply related resources, such as discipleship curriculum, music for your choir, vocalists and instrumentalists, and leader training materials.
#5. Mortar and Brick: This is the physical facilities and grounds you have to work with, whether rented, leased or owned.
#6. Machines: This includes your capital related resources, such as copiers, computers, screens, projectors, sound systems, buses, vans, tables and chairs.
#7. Messages: This resource represents both what and how you communicate, such as sermons, announcements, themes, series, emphases, campaigns, newsletters, emails, social media, and the church website.
#8. Mystical: These are the spiritual resources God provides through prayer, fasting, worship, scripture, contemplation, discernment and seeking and waiting on His will.
The Resource Mix Must Change For There To Be Improvement
The important thing for church staff to remember if they want to be change leaders, is that improvement, progress, and growth cannot be achieved without somehow changing the resource mix. Keeping the resource allocation the same from year is a prescription for the status quo, plateauing and ultimate decline of a church or a ministry.
For example, if the Children’s Ministry wants to improve Vacation Bible School they might examine each of the 8 M Put resources and choose to reallocate the use of buses and vans (Machines) to pick up children who could not otherwise attend. Or, change the curriculum (Materials), recruit more youth volunteers (Manpower), engage the church in praying for VBS (Mystical), promote more through the local media (Messages), or change the mode of delivery entirely and take VBS to various neighborhoods in the community (Methods).
Church staff that start with the assumption things can always be improved, are more likely to strategically, regularly and successfully change the mix of “M Put” Resources. But, just changing the resource mix doesn’t guarantee improvement…..the right changes have to be made for an improvement in results. And, this requires a combination of prayer, skill, experience, intentionality and hard work.
Research has revealed the importance of resource allocation by showing that organizations who are consistently skilled at allocating these 8 resources in a synergistic manner can double output and productivity every 5 to 7 years.
Posted on January 17, 2017