Sideways energy will slowly cripple your momentum and your growth.

What is it?

It’s anything that does not help the main thing be the main thing.

I think we all have the tendency to do too much. In ministry, we sometimes can fall into the trap that more is better. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do anything, but we should only do things that are focused on helping our overall wins for the ministry.

Some things that might be sideways energy:

  • That event you inherited but it happens every year still.
  • That Sunday morning program that you have to do even though you have a midweek service for students.
  • Stand-alone events that are not attached to your church at all.
  • That leader meeting that less than 50% of people attend.

I’m sure you can think of things in which you think, “Why are we even doing this?”

That’s sideways energy.

How do you address it with your crew?

A couple of thoughts on how you address this in your group:

  • Do you know what your main things are? Are they written down somewhere?
  • Do they match the vision and direction of your church as a whole? The last thing your senior pastor needs is another church in his church.
  • If you know the main things, are you ACTUALLY sticking to them? Or are you adding things here and there because you think you need to? Those things could be sideways energy.
  • List all the things you do. Every: sermon series, activity, event, camp, groups, etc. Compare them to your values and your main things and see if they fit into your structure. If they don’t, why are you doing them?

We have been on a ruthless hunt to rid ourselves of all sideways energy. It’s hard. It requires some tough conversations. But when you are able to do the things you know you need to do and have everyone that serves with you all on the same page (with the same amount of energy and crystal clarity on why you do those things), these are the things that begin momentum in your leadership.


What are some things that might be sideways energy in your ministry?