In February 2022 I awoke one morning feeling like I had just got out of the dentist chair, the right side of my face was somewhat numb. Thinking I might be having an allergic reaction to some cough syrup, I continued as usual. Later that day, realizing this was more than an allergic reaction, I headed home, a seven-hour drive. Once in the car I realized my right eye was not closing, blinking, or refreshing itself. Seven hours of manually closing/opening the eye for relief and lubrication, in addition to the increased numbness in the face.
The next day it was diagnosed as Bells Palsy. What we did not realize at the time was along with the muscle dilapidation, I had also experienced severe nerve damage in the right side of my face. Without the nerves, I could lose the use of my eye, the right portion of my mouth and all the muscles surrounding them.
I began Physical Therapy. The first two to three weeks the therapists tried massaging, exercising, and torquing the muscles attempting to bring new life back into them. With no improvement the therapists came up with a different process for treatment, one that included multiple needles and electric currents pulsing through my head – one that had never been tried to this extent before. Today I am at least 99.7% recovered from what appeared nearly impossible.
I share this to help you understand processes. The first process was a standard process for Bells Palsy patients. When that process was delivering no results, the therapists came up with a new process that brought results.
In the church, the way your worship service flows is a process. Your Sunday School or small group Bible studies follow a process. If these are not delivering fruitful results, extending God’s Kingdom, it is likely due to defective processes. Yet, we often criticize the people in our pews or classes – or we blame the leadership. Seldom do we look at the processes. It is, after all, much easier to lay blame elsewhere.
The extent of your community outreach is a result of your process for fulfilling The Great Commission. Many churches have no designed processes for fulfilling The Great Commission. It is a “whatever happens happens“ and we applaud whatever happens.
Processes are the repetitive actions, procedures, and methods you use to reach your goals and advance the mission of your organization. Walk into any Chick-fil-A restaurant and you will be greeted by every employee you come in close contact with. Each employee who serves you throughout your visit, if you thank them, will respond with, “My Pleasure!” emphatically stated with a smile. These are manifestations of well thought out and implemented processes.
Like the Physical Therapists, when your current processes are not accomplishing fruitful results, develop new ones that will. With the new year coming quickly, perhaps it is time for some new fruitful processes in your organization.