Supercharge Your Member’s Engagement

I remember being taught the old axiom, “Twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of work.”  The belief that only twenty percent of your members will ever be involved in carrying out the mission needs to be challenged.

I realize that this is true for many churches and organizations, however I know many churches and organizations that enjoy a more positive and healthy rule, “Eighty percent of the people are fully engaged in the mission.”  Full engagement is not realistic as you always have people who are just joining the ministry or are transitioning out.  You could make the argument that if you have one hundred percent engagement, you are not growing with new people, as it takes time to assimilate and engage new members.

Regardless of your situation, most of us want to see greater engagement of our membership.  If we can get more people serving, on mission in their communities, giving, and discipling, we would see a revival take place.  There is a lot at stake when engagement remains mediocre.  Don’t settle.  You can supercharge your member’s engagement if you understand how people are motivated.

In my first ten years of ministry I thought I was a super-star in motivation.  I was a church planter that had huge vision for growth and multiplication.  Each week I would cast vision in my sermons, meetings, and one-on-one encounters.  I believed that people were motivated by the vision.  If they could only see what I can see, they would want to join with me and put their full efforts into the seeing the vision become a reality.  I was naïve.

What every leader needs to learn is that people are not all motivated the same way.  What motivated you may actually threaten someone else.  Why didn’t they teach thus in seminary?  People are essentially motivated three ways and a combination of those ways.  Actually it is critical that you understand there are seven unique combinations of those three motivations.  By motivations, I am speaking about how your words and vision resonate with your member’s soul.  When we speak their “motivation”, you supercharge their engagement.

When I was preaching and casting vision about planting 30 churches in 30 years, those who were motivated by achievement and success experienced a boost in their engagement.  They gave their time and money to see this happen.  However, at the same time I was moving these members forward in missional engagement, others were becoming fearful and withdrawing.  Some were motivated by relationships and the thought of a church that was constantly sending people (their friends) out and the thought of many people that they didn’t know coming in was scary.  They loved having a personal relationship with the pastor and if the vision being proclaimed became a reality, soon it would be difficult for the pastor to have time with them.  I didn’t have a clue that the very vision I was casting was actually alienating a quarter of my congregation!

Leadership requires the casting of vision, but your vision must be nuanced in such a way to account for seven different motivational drives.  If you can learn about these and how you can connect with their motivations, you will supercharge your engagement in an unbelievable way.  These are skills that you can learn and begin to apply.  You can learn more about these motivations through Consentia Group training which utilizes the relational awareness tools of the TotalSDI (

Let me describe the three basic motivations briefly:

  • People:  These members are all about relationships and caring for others
  • Process:  These members are all about order and doing things right
  • Performance:  These members are all about movement and achievement

If you want to be a great leader and release the full potential of your members, you need to invest in learning about relating to each member according to their motivation.

Bruce Terpstra

Our President, Dr. Bruce Terpstra, has 36 years of pastoral ministry experience. He is a veteran of 17 years in denominational leadership and developed more than 70 new churches in the New York metro area and has given oversight to almost 400 pastors. He holds a doctorate in Leadership Development and is also the founder of 3KeyCoaching and the author of Three Passions of the Soul.