Gaining & Maintaining Momentum, Part 2 by Jason Swann


In my last blog, I began to share with you the four V’s for gaining and maintaining momentum. The first V was for Vision. You can’t attract the right people to you until you become effective at communicating your vision, values and strategies – the things you feel God has placed uniquely inside you that will make your community better because your church is in it.

Moving on to the next V…

Volume. In my opinion, one is good, two is better, and a crowd is best. Think about volume in terms of a television speaker, like one TV with a single speaker coming at you versus surround sound. Who wouldn’t opt for the surround sound?!

Now, I have found that God’s strategies for your church are way better than any strategy that I can communicate or that might communicate in this context, but I will tell you how we create sound at Cornerstone Church:

We use testimonies. We love to use social media. We’ve got the little business cards that we encourage our people to take and then go pay for people’s meals and leave them the card. Pay for their coffee in line at Starbucks and leave the card form them just to let them know we are not just the church that’s going to invite you to church; we’re a church that loves you enough to pay for your coffee and then invite you to church.

What does your church sound like? It’s one thing for you to communicate vision right from a stage or in your huddles before service. It’s another thing for your people to communicate the vision outside the walls of your church. I would encourage you to simplify it down to the very essence of the thing. For us, if somebody said, “Why should I come to Cornerstone Church?” I would hope and pray that the answer would resound, “Because we make Heaven crowded.” That’s one of our vision statements. It’s on our shirts. It’s a 35-foot banner along our foyer wall that says in massive bold print “Make Heaven crowded.” It is our mission. It is our goal. We want to make it hard for people to go to hell from southwest Kansas. That is who we are.

I heard once that a person will visit your church after they’ve been invited by seven people. I think the power of volume speaks well here. There is a common language, a culture that is heard when more than one person speaks. That’s why we must be simple, clear and effective in our communication so that our people can be simple, clear and effective in their connection.

Vitality. In the simplest way, you know that vitality is health. The first two V’s enable you to capture momentum, but this V enables you to maintain it. The questions that I ask myself on a regular basis is, Is it a one-man band or is it a team? I want to lead a church that creates disciples. I’m not into building big churches; I’m into building big people. Big people build big churches. If we are doing our job of making disciples, then those disciples will be making disciples.

There’s a great book on this idea called “Multipliers” that really walks through why it is that some leaders are able to not just capture momentum but keep momentum going for decades. I think it’s all about creating and utilizing teams that enable you to do what you do, the things that bring life to you, that bring joy to you, that bring energy to you. It’s not that you don’t like to do the tasks, but if you do it for those whom God has called to do them, then you’re robbing them of an eternal reward that God has planned for them.

I think one of the misconceptions today is that vitality or “health” equals a great vacation package or a great maternity and paternity plan. No, healthy is not distraction. A healthy organization is an organization that has clarity. Everyone knows exactly what they’re responsible for, what others are responsible for (generally speaking) and what’s important. The vision and the strategy that you’re clearly communicating is your mission. If you’re going to be a healthy organization, you’re going to need clarity. It you’re going to be a healthy organization you’re going to need responsibility and authority, because if you make someone responsible for something without giving them the authority to carry out the responsibility, you’re setting them up for failure.

The last thing I think about when I think about vitality is purpose. Great leaders give people purpose, not just a job. In ministry, none of us have a job; we have a calling, an anointing. We have the best job on the planet because we’re not recruiting people to go sell cars or mine for coal. We’re calling people to go out and sell Jesus and mine for potential.

Great leaders are going to give people a purpose, and to do that, you have to define your organization. Know what you want to be, what you want your guests to feel, what your team has to do to accomplish those goals. The real beauty in this is identifying that God-ordained identity that He has placed in those individuals. You don’t have to be a prophet to be prophetic and call things out of people. Watch them light up because in a world of fake likes and fake hearts and fake shares, you actually look them in the eyes and say, “I see God’s hand on your life. Let me tell you where.” You might be the first person who’s ever spoken to them about God’s plan for their life. When I think of vitality and being able to maintain momentum, I think of those things.

Stick with me for one last blog, where I will be sharing our last V – Velocity. We’ll also talk about how to regain velocity if you’ve lost it, so don’t lose hope! Hang in there! And let’s talk about it next time.