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Mission: Mission, vision, values and distinctives are established and agreed upon

12 Sources For Discovering Church Uniqueness

Lit light bulb amongs unlit incandescent bulbs

My pastor, Dr. Mike Glenn likes to say, “There is a reason Baskin Robbins has 31 different flavors.”

His point is that God has purposefully designed each church distinctive and unique from any church that ever has or ever will exist. With that unique design comes a calling and a set of ministry assignments that are distinctive.

Just as an individual must discover their personality, gifts, abilities, experiences and passions to effectively discern their Kingdom calling, each church must learn and understand its divine DNA to discern the ministry assignments God has uniquely created them to pursue.

Application: 12 Sources of Church Uniqueness

Below are 12 different church based sources from which uniqueness can originate. Consider using various focus groups to address the questions following each source to identify potential areas of uniqueness in your church.

  1. Missions:  What is distinctive about the way we approach missions? Locally, nationally and internationally? What missional passions and partnerships have emerged in recent years?
  2. Discipleship:  What is distinctive about our approach to discipleship and spiritual formation? To men, to women, to families?
  3. Worship:  What is distinctive about our worship? The presentation, style, musicians, location, times?
  4. Ministry/Service:  What ministries and opportunities for service are unique to our church? Inside the church and outside the church?
  5. Evangelism:  How do our people talk about the Great Commission?  How do we live out being salt and light where we live, work and play?
  6. Leaders:  What are the unique strengths, passions of the leaders in our church? What do our leaders pray about?
  7. Heritage:  What is unique about our church’s heritage and history? What are our roots?
  8. Values:  What unique convictions do our people share? What do our people think is important?
  9. Gifts:  What does the collective gift mix in our church look like? Do our people mostly have equipping or serving gifts? How does that impact what we do?
  10. Recovery:  What sins and sin patterns do we see in our church? Which are individual and which are corporate?
  11. Vocabulary:  What words and phrases get repeated around our church the most that speak to mission, vision, values and strategies? What sermon or sermon series has sparked the most conversation?
  12. Facilities/Location:  What is unique about our location? What is distinctive about our facilities?

Action: What other categories of uniqueness have you discovered?  

If you found this blog helpful be sure to check out my FREE resource “30 Sure Fire Church Strategic Planning Exercises”


Posted on August 19, 2014
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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