How to answer the why behind your to-do list [and pursue your church mission]

by | Apr 27, 2021 | Work Tips

Have you ever felt like you’re struggling with parts of your to-do list? Especially the vague church communications tasks? You know, update the website, etc. Maybe it’s time to reflect on the purpose of those tasks and rediscover the why behind it as it relates to your church mission. That can be easier said than done – which is why the two-word phrase shared below helps even the busiest person find the purpose behind the to-dos.

The “why” is central to pursuing your church mission

When it comes to managing your to-do list, leadership experts will say, “You need to focus and prioritize your most important tasks, delegate others, and even eliminate a few.” There are tons of versions of that process, and most center on knowing “why” you need to do a task so that you can execute the task with your church mission in mind.

Struggling to cast vision and define mission? Some great reads to add to your list: Will Mancini’s God Dreams or Church Unique; and The Vision Driven Leader by Michael Hyatt.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “OK yeah, but how do I articulate something so philosophical? I can sense the ‘why’ in my gut – but how do I articulate that to make those decisions?”

With this two-word phrase.

The phrase that links your actions with the results

What you’re about to see likely isn’t revolutionary. But when I saw it in an email that my pastor recently sent to church leadership, the power of this phrase hit hard as he linked church ministries with the desired results.

“We fund the coat closet so that area children have the coats they need this winter.”

Did you catch it? SO THAT.

Those two little words have the power to extend the activity to the result. Your mind goes from “this is what we do” to “this is why we do it.”

You’re still answering the “why.” Your mind doesn’t have to work as hard to answer it when you tackle the “so that.”

Answer your “why” with “so that.” And you can focus on the results of pursuing any initiative.

“So that” examples pointing to church mission

In any organization, deadlines drive a lot of activity, and prioritize your calendar faster than you can blink. With regular weekly services, activities, and meetings at a church, that means those timely tasks often rise to the top.

This timely prioritizing also leaves other tasks feeling less critical because they are less urgent. The answer to those “why” questions is akin to “because that happens tonight, and I have things to get done!”

Pull out your to-do list and look at everything related to church communications. Or write it down if you keep more of a mental checklist.

Do you ever feel church communications tasks are important but hard to get done without a hard deadline or a clear why? You’re not the only one! Let’s apply “so that” to some likely examples, and you’ll see how it shifts.

  • Work on the church website: The church web pages need to be optimized so that it answers people’s questions and remove obstacles like slow load times.
  • Plan more guest-focused content: The church social media pages should focus on inviting in guests so that people feel welcomed and expected online, just like they are when they come to attend a service in real life.
  • Recruit volunteers to help with online worship services: The online worship services need volunteers active in the comments so that viewers feel encouraged to engage, be it with prayer, questions, or other follow-ups.
  • Plan out more guest follow-up messages: Guest follow-up spreads out over a few weeks so that people can be encouraged to come back, they can get connected with real people, and they know that our church is here to walk with them, no matter what they need right now.

When you add “so that,” you reframe your task to be more action-oriented. Your focus becomes the desired outcome.

Your why goes from gut-feeling to results-oriented action with purpose.

Knowing both of those allows you, as a church leader, to recommit your efforts or delegate to the right person so that they understand why it’s essential and what your expectations are. (Did you catch it?)

Take a few minutes today, or regroup with fellow church leaders, and reframe your lingering church communications tasks – so that your church can better communicate, share the gospel, and develop disciples.

Agree with the “so that” digital presence examples above, but don’t have the bandwidth or people to figure out what exactly needs to be updated for your guests? Find out what delegating that to a Church Secret Guest would look like! Schedule your call today.


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