- Too much "go" and not enough "grow"
- Change without enough reassurances/doses of familiar
- Not enough "Invest and Invite": Our primary strategy for reaching people for Christ is to keep the value and priority of evangelism alive in our congregation, encourage everyone to invest in the life of folks who don't know Christ and then invite those folks to our church community to investigate faith. We've talked a lot about "going" and compassionate outreach, but it's been a long time since we've had a sustained focus on personal evangelism. Way too long. Over my whole Christian life I find that I am active in evangelistic outreach when I'm reading about it, attending training...doing anything that gets me focused. I think it's the same for the church.
- Neglect of fundamentals: While gearing up to "go," we neglected some fundamentals, especially in the areas of small groups and worship. In worship, for example, we tasked our staff to focus so much on catching up on technology (we hadn't made any strides in this area since moving in to our building in 2001) and getting ready for our Hudson launch that they were not able to focus on recruiting new team members and developing the ones we already have. You can coast for a while in times of intense concentration on a goal, but I expected way too much from our teams and our congregation, and it hurt us. On the other hand, if I had better anticipated the cost and the length of time, and turned to our teams and congregation to explain things better and ask people to step up and help, we likely could have done better.
- Road work and the housing slowdown: No doubt this has contributed about as much as all of the above in our growth and financial situation. But, in my estimation, it kept our "recovery" from impacting growth. By the time we made some mid-course corrections and started picking up momentum we faced the road work that lasted about six months and isolated us from the Woodbury campus community. I was told that one woman from Hudson tried to come to the women's Wednesday morning Bible study and didn't find us until her third try. Add to that the slowdown in community growth and you have a pretty potent one-two punch that hit us hard in the gut.