Your Ministry: A Gap Analysis
Last week, we discussed your ministry’s approach to the ongoing process of discipleship—and how ultimately, a man is not a mature disciple until the truth of the gospel is understood, believed, and lived out in his life, which we remember using a simple paradigm: Head-Heart-Hands. Click here to review.
You should have ended up with a list of your ministry’s opportunities available for men (not just men’s-only activities), separated into those three categories.
Now let’s take a look at how we can use Head-Heart-Hands to evaluate our discipleship efforts, using a simple gap-analysis worksheet. The purpose of the exercise is to determine if there are gaps between how you want the gospel to impact men as disciples of Christ and the opportunities for impact your church offers men.
Step 1: Identify the Desired Outcomes
Here’s the key question: If you were to only have a man in your ministry for five years, what would be the things you would want him to understand, believe and live out in relation to five major areas of relationship—God, his family, the church, the world, and himself—to feel like you had effectively and faithfully discipled him?
Everything you write on the chart in each category should reflect your team’s discipleship priorities or desired outcomes of your ministry efforts.
For example, in the FAMILY column, if you would want a man to understand his role as the spiritual leader of his family, you’d probably list that under Head (intellect). But if you also would want a man to be leading family devotions as a result of that understanding, you’d list that under Hands (behavior).
This exercise may be time-consuming, but it will be a powerful tool for your leadership team once completed!
Step 2: Review the Opportunities Being Offered
If you didn’t make a list last week of all the activities where men are engaged at your church (not just men’s-only activities), do that now.
Do the opportunities available impact men at all three levels—heads, hearts, and hands—or is one being neglected?
Are there any activities coming up—such as a sermon series, Thanksgiving service project, fall festival, or group study—that you need to add to the list? Once your list is complete, move onto Step 3.
Step 3: Compare Opportunities and Outcomes
Put your Head-Heart-Hands worksheet and list of activities side by side.
Look at each desired outcome on the worksheet and check off any activity on the list that would—through the work of the Holy Spirit—likely produce that outcome. Put a check mark on both the outcome and the activity.
For example, if you have “gives regularly to the church” under Hands, and “stewardship class” on the activity list, you’d put a check mark next to both, because the stewardship class would likely produce the practice of regular giving.
Step 4: Identify the Gaps
Once you’ve gone through each desired outcome on the Head-Heart-Hands worksheet, circle the outcomes that don’t have a check mark next to them. These are the priorities that aren’t currently being addressed by an existing ministry opportunity or activity.
Don’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged if you have a lot of circles! Focus on just one or two unmet discipleship needs as a team.
Is there an existing activity that could be modified to meet an unmet need and fill the gap? If not, should you consider developing a new opportunity? Discuss as a team and make a plan!
Here is a completed sample to help guide you.
Step 5: Prioritize Discipleship
Now look at your list of activities. Which activities don’t have check marks next to them? These are activities that aren’t currently contributing to your discipleship priorities.
As a team, consider how those activities might be altered to become more purposeful.
You may decide that you shouldn’t continue offering the activity at all; that’s okay! Your men might be better served if those ministry resources were diverted to another opportunity that is more effective.
“Therefore go and make disciples…”
We hope this exercise is helpful for you as you organize your ministry efforts and begin planning for next year.
Don’t get discouraged if your ministry isn’t yet impacting men in the way you hope and pray. Like we always say, men’s ministry IS rocket science! When “go and make disciples” becomes challenging, stay the course, one step at a time. Paul gives the Galatians this encouragement:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
We are here to serve you any way we can in this mission! If you’d like further training for your leaders, check out our No Man Left Behind training, from which this gap analysis comes. You may also request a free ministry consultation from a member of our team, such as your local Area Director, by visiting our home page and clicking on “Free ministry consultations” at the top of the page.
We believe that discipleship changes everything, and when you keep that the focus of your efforts, you will reap a harvest if you don’t give up.
*With credit to University Presbyterian Church in Orlando, who used this paradigm to create a chart, Man in the Mirror has adapted it for evaluating your ministry efforts for men.