Methods: Planning consistently happens in three areas, personal, ministry and organization and on three levels, strategic, tactical and operational

The Ten Most Important Criteria for Vetting New Ministries

“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.”

The same can be said for churches.

Each year we are faced with more opportunity than we have time or resource and without a clear vetting process we can easily settle for less than the best.

Church members come to us with their passions they want funded. Denominational agencies present programs for us to adopt. Church staff return from the latest conference with new ministry ideas they want to implement.

Application: 10 Vetting Filters for Every Opportunity

With a constant flow of compelling ideas, requests and opportunities for Kingdom impact confronting church leaders today, how then can we distinguish the good from the best?

Try running your next ministry idea or opportunity through these ten filters before committing to a course of action.

  1. God’s will – Evidenced by broad based staff and lay prayerful discernment, agreement, support, affirmation

  2. Alignment – Degree to which it supports church objectives and goals; Scale of 1-10

  3. Potential Impact – Degree of impact on church mission and vision: High/Medium/Low

  4. Probability of Success  – Likelihood of the initiative being received well and implemented “successfully and timely: High/Medium/Low

  5. Cost/Benefit – Value; affordability: demand on the church’s financial, physical and human resources: High/Medium/Low

  6. Risk/Reward – Degree of risk versus potential reward (high risk/low reward: high risk/high reward; low risk/high reward; low risk/low reward

  7. Core Competency – Do we have the current staff and/or lay competency to successfully implement this initiative? Are there lay advocates willing to lead this initiative?

  8. Trade Offs – If we do this what will we not be able to do or have to stop doing?

  9. Precedent – Do we have a history or track record with this initiative that suggests we should continue to expand and maximize it?

  10. Problem Avoidance – What potential problems could occur if this initiative is implemented?

Action: What about you? What other vetting criteria would you add to this list?

Posted on May 7, 2014

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.

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“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