Recently, Troy Pollock, a former leader at Pushpay and current leader at Tome joined Trent Dunham on the Decisions podcast to discuss his startup adventures and the importance of staying relevant and fresh. We hope his insight encourages you!
Staying ‘fresh’ in ministry… it doesn’t always come easy.
If things are feeling stale or you’re lacking inspiration, it may be time to evaluate a few things.
Is it possible you’ve developed a blind spot as to what your constituents are saying they want, because you assume you already know? It’s crucial to remain open to conversations around what’s up and coming, instead of just doing the same thing we’ve always done, the same way we’ve always done it.
Because the outcome of doing the same thing over and over is that you’ll eventually hit a rate of no return and start to decline just by virtue of not being fresh.
Sometimes we’re scared of new things that prove successful. We simply want to go back to the old way. But if our goal is more impact, we must lean into what’s innovative and put resources behind those things.
And for many, it’s all about data. They make data-informed decisions and they don’t make a decision unless there’s data to support it! That can be a good thing. But we often fail to leave the door cracked for simple intuition. Sometimes you can just feel the temperature outside, you can see the way the trends are moving.
And the truth is, you don’t always have data to inform your decision.
So where do we start?
First, create a safe environment for people to try things, to fail, and to fail safely. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But then leave the door cracked for a non-data-informed decision where the leader says, “You know what? I can’t put my finger on it, I don’t have enough data, but my gut is telling me we should try something like this…”
Secondly, make sure you keep your mission at the forefront. What was the thing that woke you up everyday? Because nothing will compare to the fulfillment of that mission.
Thirdly, keep your consumer or audience at the forefront of your mind. In every planning meeting, have one open chair. That chair is not for the person walking in late! Instead, it represents the consumer, or the person who comes in the back pew of your church and sits down.
Don’t leave that decision-making table without considering the impact on that chair, on that person. Whether it’s a user of your app, a person who walks into your church doors discouraged, or a listener to your media program who has never heard of the Old Testament.
How does your event or your marketing impact that person? This is accountability. It keeps you accountable because you can have great minds around a table making crucial decisions but forget about how that decision actually impacts the consumer.
And don’t leave the decision-making table without interviewing that person. Because that alone will change the trajectory of the decisions you make around those tables.
Lastly, ask yourself, “Am I still adding value to this organization?” Sometimes it’s important to pray, “God, are you calling me to something new?” He might tell you that this is a season where you stick and stay.
If it’s time to go, God will release you. And if not, there’s purpose in it.
But remember: We don’t learn in the midst of success. We mostly learn in failure. Perhaps you need to stay in your seat at that company today because you have more to learn. And God is going to use those lessons in your future, wherever He calls you next.
Ultimately, the question becomes, are you working through this whole process with God? And more specifically, are you listening?
For fresh insights around transitions, overcoming obstacles, and starting new adventures, check out the Decisions Podcast episode, Starting New Adventures with Troy Pollock.
+ More Insights from Dunham+Company: “If God Will Provide, Why Do We Have to Ask for Money?“