I’m the Executive Pastor of Arena Church and part of my role is to oversee (and often implement) our systems.  We are based in the midlands and currently have two campuses with plans for future campus development. 

Systems are something I am very passionate about and have followed closely around the world many churches who model great systems. To talk systems in church life may seem very alien to many of us;  this is something that businesses do, however over the last few years we have seen first hand the value of good systems.  To give some context; in 2017 we saw:

  • 16% increase in our weekend attendance
  • 100 first time decisions 
  • 50% increase in our youth programme
  • 26% increase in our kids programme
  • 133% increase in small groups
  • 300 people serving on dream teams

Where do we start?

Before we arrive at the system we need to clarify the vision - where are we heading? Clarify the win; ensure your leaders/teams are clear.  Once established we then create systems that deliver the vision.  Pastor Chris Hodges, at our recent AoG Conference, highlighted the importance of systems that deliver the vision.  May I encourage every Church Pastor/Leader to take some time to ask these 2 very important questions:-

  • Is our church vision clear? 
  • Do our systems deliver the vision?

I do hope you feel confident about answering those questions positively but if not start where you can, take small simple steps to move forward.  Here’s some things that we have found helpful (although not exhaustive) in our journey over the past few years:

What system?

There are 4 areas that have been crucial in delivering our vision:

  • Life giving weekend services that focus on people knowing God.
  • Small groups where people can connect, be encouraged and find freedom.
  • Growth Track that helps everyone new to Arena go on a 4 week journey to discover who God has called them to be and discover their purpose.
  • Dream Teams where people serve and be part of a group that makes a difference.

I am so thankful for a clear vision and simple systems that we believe have been vital to see health and growth in many areas.  We are certainly not perfect but we do believe that through our vision and systems working together we are seeing traction and momentum that is life changing and life giving. 

Before I close I just wanted to share with you some valuable resources. There are churches around the globe who provide resources for free and we have been so thankful particularly to LifeChurch and Church of the Highlands who have equipped us in many areas:

Tools/Tips that we have found helpful

  • Provide Organisational Clarity - put an org chart in place and ensure clear lines of communication.  Empower your leaders - pass the “yes” down the organisation.  
  • A clear, attractive, relevant website - this need not be costly.  This is one of our main sources for first time guests.  With your own church website domain you can then provide organisation email addresses.  Having email addresses for all your staff members/department leaders can really simplify communication, and using an email address @ your domain name makes your contact information look much more professional.
  • Give a great welcome - ensure all your guests feel valued.
  • Clear signage - we want all of our guests to feel at ease when entering our buildings. 
  • Life giving worship - keep a core list of songs that line up with your culture and teaching (that the congregation are able to sing!).
  • Clear well planned teaching series delivered by capable and anointed communicators.  
  • Timed Running orders - run sheets provide as a guide for well thought through (and prayed through), time honouring services. 
  • Growth Track free resource (resources@growleader.com) - Growth Track is a great tool when delivered in its entirety and with clear focus to the church that Growth Track helps to move everyone to their next step of Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose and Make a Difference.
  • Measure what is valuable - figures indicate health (or not).  These figures provide a great reference point for planning meetings and organisational strategy.  Two free tools:-
    - Church Metrics (www.churchmetrics.com) for tracking numbers of attendance, salvations, baptisms, offerings and custom fields you may want to track.
    - Church Database (http://www.churchdb.org/) Keeping a track of your members/attendees personal information and church involvement - don’t forget GDPR regulations :-)

I do hope this information has been helpful in some way and thank you for allowing me the time to share with you.  As I conclude my prayer is that around our nation more and more churches arise that are life changing, filled with God’s presence and making a difference in this world all for God’s glory.

Every best wish and blessing

Julie Turner
Executive Pastor
Arena Church