In order to be aligned in your ministry, knowing your who and knowing your why can bring purpose to everything you do.

It’s hard to believe, but the fall ministry season is already here! Where did summer go?! Schools are starting up, people are settling back into routines and churches generally see more consistent and even increased attendance during this stretch.

For churches, this time of year is a key season in the ministry calendar on the level of Christmas and Easter as people who are peripherally connected with your church may be returning. In many communities, there may even be new families who have made a move over the summer and are looking for a new church to connect with.

So the question is, how are you leveraging this unique season? What should you be focusing on during this stretch of ministry?

I’d suggest making this season about reinforcing mission, vision and values (your why) and identifying the people you’re focused on reaching through these priorities (your who).


parks and recreation meme

Could you articulate your mission, vision and values if somebody asked you? Understanding exactly what your “why” is makes a huge difference in helping you to clarify what matters most and maybe more importantly, what doesn’t!

These are the determining factors that help you know what things you do and don’t do, what characteristics you want your people to strive for and the ideals your church is chasing to make a difference in the world!

What is your “why” as a church that fuels every ministry priority and is widely embraced by your church community?

If you or your team resonate with Andy Dwyer in the meme, then start here. Pull together your key leaders and put in some hard work to define your “why.” From there, begin pollinating every leader and ministry with these values, and put a concerted effort toward building a ministry that reflects your “why” this fall!


Ministry is all about people. We know that, but it can be easy to get caught up in the demands that come with ministry life. As you’re launching into fall ministry, it’s really important to make sure you're engaging with your people in every sphere of ministry from staff to volunteers to first time guests, and everyone in between, so they understand what matters most to you.


It is critical that your staff team understands, embraces and transfers your ‘why’ to the rest of your church and community. They are the domino that affects every ministry area and every person they rub shoulders with.

How are you investing in your staff so they also celebrate and live out your values? Begin putting prioritized time in staff meetings and purposeful connection time to talk about your values, celebrate when you see it and strategize around how to apply them in every ministry area.

Volunteer Leaders

Beyond your staff, the key volunteer leaders in your church make the most difference if they embody what you value. These leaders often have contact with many people week in and week out that you may not be able to connect with, so it’s really important to make sure they’re expressing the values of your church as well!

What are you doing to invest in your volunteer leaders now before fall launch? Make time to meet with all your different ministry teams to celebrate your values and paint a picture of what it looks like to carry these out in life and ministry.

Guest Experience

Many churches see a spike in attendance and in particular with guests visiting around fall launch. This season should have a comparable level of priority to Christmas and Easter when thinking about guests. It’s really important to have your strategic next steps clarified for newer attenders, your guest experience team at full capacity and your communications developed in ways that keep the guest in mind.

What is your connection pathway for somebody who is a first time visitor? Could you articulate what those steps are for someone to go from first time guest to a fully invested part of the church? Spend time with your staff and volunteer teams making sure these are clear, then make sure each step is well-developed to be able to help people grow in their faith and community.

How: A Few Ideas

I’m often hesitant to throw out a bunch of tactical ideas for how to apply these things, because every church in every community is different. Even multi-site churches have to be intentional with how to do things based on the community the campus is in. That said, these are a few things that I think are pretty universal when it comes to helping people embrace and live out the ‘why’ of your church.

Paint a Picture

This is Casting Vision 101, but the most important thing is to talk about what could be and what should be. Do you spend time dreaming with your team day to day, and also dreaming with your congregation? There is something big and specific in your context that’s worth going after, so you need to describe that ideal, why it matters and invite your people to dream with you about it!


There is nothing more powerful than a compelling, real-life story. When have you seen your values consistently lived out? Tell those stories, celebrate those people and describe how these ways of living have made a difference in people’s lives.

One really fun exercise to do with teams is to take some time at a meeting and invite people to talk about how they’ve seen somebody else on the team live out the values. You can also do this via your work chat platform (i.e. Slack, Teams, Google Chat). This is great for team building, but it also elevates and celebrates what matters most which in turn encourages people to continue to live on mission.

Teaching Series

Plan a few weeks as part of the fall launch to talk about your vision and mission as a church. Where is God leading you? What are the signs that you’re getting there? What is the invitation for people to take the next step? Remember, do all of this with a guest in mind so that they are able to understand what matters most and what to do. If you have the budget for swag, include that too so your congregation can share these values with the community.

As a reminder, make sure your next steps pathway is really clear and consistently articulated during this series and beyond!

Events and Outreach

As you’re thinking about your values, how do the events you’re asking people to participate in directly reflect these values? Planning and executing events that don’t directly fuel your vision and values can suck life and energy out of your leaders and your church.

In addition to events, think about planning a couple outreach experiences in the fall that embody the ideals of your values. These should be things that engage the community outside of your church and that make a difference in people’s lives. Choosing like-minded partners who are serving in areas that align with your values helps exemplify who you are trying to be as a community.

There are many different ways to bring your values to life, and I pray that you would listen and hear the voice of God who gives wisdom generously to his children! May He direct your steps and bring new life where you’re serving in this season.

We love dreaming about this with church leaders, and if you’re looking ahead to the fall and want to talk, we’re here for you!