The One Thing 353: Making the Most of Term Three

What do we need to think and do when it comes to term three? Often it’s a good time to dive into longer term planning and recruitment for the next year.

  • Raising leaders for next year
  • Strategic plans for next year
  • Keeping people focused on vision
  • Digging into your small group ministries
  • Get into the important but not urgent things like budget for next year
  • Getting leaders away for thinking, reflecting and planning
  • Getting people to recruiting conferences (see below)
  • Planning for Christmas
  • The run-up to recruiting teams for next year


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The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good day.I’m Scott Sanders.And I’m Derek Hannah.Welcome To The One Thing, a podcast designed to give you one solid, practical tip for Gospel Centre ministry.Every week, One Thing is brought to you by Reach Australia.We want to see thousands of healthy evangelistic multiplying churches and well, third term is on its way.

And today we’re gonna be looking at what we should be planning in third term.But Derek, hmm.We, we’ve just finished the the Reach Australian National Conference.We have.What’s been the highlight for you?That’s a great question.Obviously, my heart is is first drawn to planting.

So I’ve been really encouraged by the number of people I’ve had conversation with this week who I’ve been talking to for years, but who are just pulling the trigger now on taking that formative first step towards church planning.So that that looks for us like getting assessed, but it’s really serious.

And churches as well who are beginning to crank the gizmo application.So I feel like this week been so much good stuff about the heart for me as well.And it’s been very refreshing talking past about that.Is it too?It’s not too pragmatic about talk about planning.That’s where I’ve been most encouraged.What about you?

Two things the challenges come to pastors to to love Jesus to love God that that’s has been really enjoyable to see whole bunch of ministry workers praying together, wrestling with this stuff together and and and and challenge each other.

You know, challenge now is what does it look like for them to continue to keep encouraging sound that way?The second one was did a small church workshop looking at kind of ecosystem thinking, looking at how to sort of apply the reach of straight framework.

And there was there was this moment where we kind of put some things on the board and then do that kind of adult education.OK, let let’s do some reflection on this and that and, and the room got it.And, you know, there was lots of left brain, right brain thinking going on.It was just beautiful to see.

You know, we’ve been banging away at a lot of this stuff for, you know, 10-15 years now and people are getting and and wrestling with, well, what is it then look like in my context?Yeah, right.And, and that’s the hope of the conference, that people take away these things and, and, and apply when we see that churches grow.

Hmm.But now you’ve pressed on another episode of The One thing making the most of third Term.Today’s podcast is brought to you by Kids Wise Master Class Kids Wise Master Class develops leaders in local churches to grow children’s ministry, breath, depth and reach without burning out in the process.

This is a 10 session, year long master class with other kids ministers.Head to the website dot AU forward slash master class For more information.And now back to the podcast.Alright, let’s go then.

Let me ask you a few questions.What a new experience is where?Where are we up to in third term?How are people feeling like?

It does differ place to place, but general rule what?Do yeah, programmes are up and running so, so we should be into a regular cycle and a rhythm.

We’re coming out of coming out of winter.So often people are, people are tired because sickness has been in the family, sickness has been in, you know, in the school environment, you know, generally small group, you know, this is a time when small groups often have a time where they, there’s lot, lots more people not turning up as regularly as well as what they are used to doing.

There’s no real kind of major events like Christmas or Easter.There’s Father’s Day, but you know, really, we don’t really make a lot of Father’s Day often, you know, in, in Australia.So that’s sort of what’s happening in September.There’s long weekends around this period.But, but really, you know, often third term is the time I think we’re where people are tired.

They’re coming out of winter and yeah, we need, we need to be thoughtful about what we, what we put on.So I think the tiredness is true across the board.It’s interesting the winter thing up in the sunny all the time.Yeah, well, so not necessarily sunny, but it’s just warm most of the time.

This is a beautiful time of year.And so people actually are in in this time of year in Brisbane, SE, Queensland at least they’re going away as well because it’s beautiful out there.So people are tired, but they’re they’re also going away.So a little bit of absenteeism depending on where you are.

So what do you do given all that?What are you doing third term?Just shut stuff down for a for a term?They come back and forth.Too well, Eric for the whole church.I often I think third terms are really good opportunity to kind of dig deeper, to be sort of focused inward.You know, I know most of the time I sort of saying be outward focused, you know, push out.

But actually this is a time where you can be focused in on on raising up leaders, you know, training, you know, being thoughtful about well, how many litres do we actually need for next year?So what can we do to be intentionally raising up, you know, small group leaders, thinking about our teams that might be a bit under resourced.

How can we put some energy into the serving others kind of outcome area by by training up and raising leaders.And again, because people are kind of absentees from, from small groups, actually pulling people out sometimes out of those groups so you can actually focus on them before kind of, you know, putting them back into, into, into small groups for, for training.

OK.So you you’ve mentioned a couple of things in there.Just let me dig into that.First of all, you’ve mentioned you’re talking about just about leadership training there.You’re talking about possibly emerging leaders or identifying that it’s for the future.So my first question is, how are you?How are you going about it?

What have you got to do in order to know how many you need?Or are you doing some sort of ministry audit?Would you do this is the, I guess the second big thing you want, you want to be doing is as a ministry team or as a ministry leader, you know, working with your eldership or your key, your key leadership team is, is doing that strategic planning for next year.

And so part of that is actually, you know, under God sort of forecasting both in seeing, well, well, what’s it going to look like next year in terms of mission in church life, small, small groups, What are the key kind of projects and things we’re planning for?So out of that process, a whole bunch of resource needs are going to come out and you’ll actually be able to identify the gaps and the and the the people that are missing in order for you to actually achieve that result.

So doing some sort of ministry audit off the back of a strategic planning process is really helpful And all I mean by ministry or is saying who, who do we currently have in teams?What, what do we need, you know, what’s the gap?And then letting our strategic planning actually inform the priorities of that because there will probably be a whole bunch of gaps, but we actually want to put, you know, focused in intention into what are we actually wanting to, you know, do you next year and and what are the priorities?

Yeah, it’s interesting mystery or just send business.He doesn’t.But all the saying exactly, we said it’s a table because people like no church is looking around saying we’ve got enough.And so it’s just saying OK, how do we build capacity?How do we help people engage and serve within life church, mobilise them.But the other part of that you’re saying it’s emerging leaders.

So what what does training look like?That’s for people who are emerging and you’re training up into that or helping them think about it rather than training existing leaders.What’s the difference?Well, I, I guess you’re gonna have to be more thoughtful often about the recruiting conversation.

So you, you, you actually gotta put energy into tapping people on the shoulder again, Hopefully those leaders are already kind of identified because you’ve been having that conversation, you know, regularly who are the leaders that we need to be investing in.But you know, third term allows you to with a programme or a project, you know, really tap people on and say, I really want you to come to this or be a part of out of these.

So, um, yeah, it’s it is getting them together.Oh, there’s a little bit of vision casting here because not everyone who comes to these days necessarily will lead, but it’s worth throwing the net.I would argue much.Why don’t you would normally throw to get people in?So there’s some people you’re tapping on the shoulder, but it may be as well.

You just open it up to everyone.If you if you want to hear what it looks like to serve around here or be in leadership come along to these days.Yeah, I think that’s that’s really key.I I think it’s well on the training in my mind as well.It’s an opportunity to kind of give energy into your small group, you know, small groups ministry by pulling, you know, pulling the whole church out maybe for a, a night where you, you know, dig deeper into a theological issue or you do 2 weeks where you get someone externally coming in and speaking on a, on, on a topic.

And so, you know, the, the small group leader is not having to kind of, you know, yeah, we’re going to keep going through what we’re looking at on Sunday.Now you’ve got actually this, this thing that can gather people together again to give vision and, and cast, you know, and give and give energy to your small group ministry, which is that kind of bread and butter that you just want people to be investing in.

So we just I just passed Case Stace, who I think has been one thing recently, some episodes sometime around maybe coming up.I’m getting that ambiguous signal from the producer right there.But she was saying in third term for their preaching programme at Vine, they put on one little, you know, a little bit more exciting, a little bit more edgy, pushes into some of those things you can.

Say those words so we often we talk about sex, money and power.That’s kind of the series where.I try not to use the word money on my podcast, but you know, she she does, she she is that people drop off and so they try to do so.I think you’re right with leaders as well.If you can take a little bit of the burden off while kind of peaking their interest in area, you can go much deeper.

That’s a really good use of of a week night for them and.Their their now strategic planning, you know, so, so again, that sounds businessy, It sounds big, sounds heavily involved, but give us kind of a simple strategic planning cycle for a, for a church plant, for a small church with a, you know, senior leadership team that’s made up mostly not of staff.

Yeah, it’s probably the time of the year that it’s the, you know, the the quadrants.This is the important but not urgent box.You’re probably pulling out now, but you get to turn 4 and it moves into the important urgent box we need.To we need to get the budget, we need to have something that I can put in front of people and say, yeah, this is where we’re going, yeah.

Absolutely.You just, you people, people don’t need to know all the details, but they do want to know where they’re going.And you have to be thinking about this before other people think about it, just in order to serve them well and love them well.So yeah, you are thinking about stuff like that budget, even the strategic planning.All I’m saying there is, you know what, what are we going to do next year to pursue this vision of baking maturing disciples?

Now, whatever level of detail is appropriate for your context, that’s where you need to go.Some people will.No, they’ll start this in second term because they’re massive.Squad analysis, PEST analysis give me give me your 1 pages.On one page, Yeah, that’s right, all.

They’re good one pages, aren’t they?But third time, I just think is a time where you, the pressure isn’t there to absolutely deliver, but you’re just beginning the conversations, you just starting those conversations.And, and when you got a cycle doing that and you got a simple tool to deliver, it doesn’t have to be a massive thing, but you can begin to invite people in earlier so that when you do hit turn 4:00 and you’re telling people what’s going to happen, you’ve already done a whole term of thinking.

If you’re a solo pastor, can I encourage you to, you know, try and in this point in time, take, you know, take two days away by yourself to pause, reflect, you know, really spend time looking back and, and celebrating what God has done in, you know, in your church.But asking the hard questions, you know, what, what’s actually going well, what’s not going well and, and doing that analysis, you know, by yourself.

So you can then kind of lead a process with with others.And good for the leadership like if you’re if you’ve got plurality of elders, you’ve got a leadership team.And after you’ve done that, I think take them away as well for a day.Just spend a day praying, thinking, giving thanks but but planning to bring them on board as it now let.

Me ask you one on one last thing of that, I mean, I think a key part of the key part of this process, as well as looking at your calendar for next year.Do the hard work at this point in time, you know, kind of putting a red line through stuff, you know, that was ineffective or thinking through when, when did we do too much?

So we actually couldn’t prioritise on, on key things.But also putting in putting in your calendar key things like your conversion engine, you’re sort of mission cycle, getting those those things up front and in centre in front of people’s eyes.

Not over planning, just appropriate planning.One of the key things though we want to keep driving churches towards thinking, leaders towards thinking and often fits in the important but not urgent box is future leaders, particularly apprentices.

Anything to say to people?How does Term 3 fit within that recruiting cycle for helping people think through giving their life to full time gospel?Ministry often what’s happening in third term is there’ll be a a sort of larger sort of scooping recruiting event.So MTS run their recruit up the mountains in in October, but you know, challenging Victoria Spur in QLD, Yeah I think.

PGP have.One, yeah, PGP have one person, so there’ll be something going on where you can actually invite your one and two together with a whole bunch of others in order in order to get excited and to, you know, to be to be encouraged and enthused about doing an apprenticeship.

Now.Now this is off the back of again, working the first and second term, but this is the event where you’re probably going to bring the one or two or the one that you’re thinking is going to sort of make a decision for that next year.But actually inviting a whole bunch of others who are in that then cohort to come along and, and also get excited.

And so in some senses, you’re putting down the work for maybe them thinking about an apprenticeship in two or three years time and not next year.It’s probably too late.This is not the event, you know, to get people, you know, get people in for next year necessarily because you’re going to be wanting in fourth term to be encouraging them to start fundraising and, and getting their resources together, you know, quitting their jobs, you know, making big changes in order to jump in and, and do an internship.

So this might be the first time for some people you’ve had the conversation about what that would look like.The chances are if this is your first conversation turn 3, they’re not doing it the next year.It takes years to kind of embed and think.Through so, so look around there, there are lots of these events happening and and I think you, you investing by bringing them along over that weekend is is really important.

Yeah long, long weekend in Adelaide.That’s, you know, that’s just trying to think what the name of the conference is in Adelaide.Starts with C this Sorry, we’re doing it.We didn’t fill.We didn’t fill TV.Is that what CV?

CV So there we will put a link in the show notes to all those, all those conferences and events, you know, so be talking amongst your, your leadership team, be talking about amongst your key leaders now about who those people are that should be going there.

And if you’re on a senior leadership team, you listen to this, you know, put aside some money so that you know, you’re, you know, church is not only tapping on the shoulder saying, Hey, we really want you to go to this.We’re, we’re paying for it.We actually want you to, you know, be at this at this event.A good investment in the future that one.Alright, Anything else people need to think about in Term 3?

Well I know Christmas isn’t in third term, but should we be doing planning for Christmas now?Well, like you like you’re tired, you’re worn out, but.Yeah, well, the answer is yes.And I think you knew that before you asked.That felt like I walked into that one.Yeah.

Yeah, of course, of course.And it doesn’t need to be bigger than Ben hurt.If you’re not playing Turn 4 is going to be a nightmare if you leave everything to to that say, yeah, but you’re not just seeing Chris trying to work out.And this is where strategic planning for next year comes in because what is Christmas going to lead to you, because you’re going to lead up to Christmas.