Shrink to Grow is the opposite of Stretch to Cover.
In an effort for FCA to minister to as many coaches and athletes as possible, historically, it has not been uncommon for FCA staff roles and responsibility to be marked by a stretch to cover approach. What this means is that FCA staff would develop relationships with coaches, athletes and schools without limitations in whatever geographical footprint they became responsible for. If I don't build a relationship with this coach, athlete or school, who will? has for too long been the approach. FCA ministry that is a mile wide, and an inch deep has as a result been far too common.
In order for FCA to be a discipleship ministry--disciples making disciples--we must shrink to grow. This simply means that we need to shrink to the reality of what can actually be accomplished within a geographical footprint. Ministry is about relationships, and relationships take time to build. As result, the FCA ministry model must be no more than an inch wide, so that staff can minister to coaches and athletes a mile deep. This realization has prompted the following questions:
- What can an FCA staff member realistically accomplish during a typical ministry week?
- How many schools can a single staff member be responsible for if disciples making disciples is the goal?
- What changes must be made to position staff for success in their ministry responsibilities?
In seeking answers to these questions we have arrived at the following conclusions specific to how local footprints will be redrawn:
- For more densely populated areas, a target ratio of no more than 15 high school per local area footprint will be used.
- For rural areas with wide geography and less population, a target ratio of no more than 8 high schools per footprint will be used.
- A target ratio of 1 male and 1 female representative for every 3-4 high schools (and middle schools that feed into them) will be used for each local footprint. These representatives will serve coaches and athletes both on and off campus.
In remaining committed to the ratios above, staff will be in position to grow ministry and disciple coaches and athletes rather than feel stretched to simply manage and maintain too many relationships. A smaller geographic footprint also means that staff will be able to be present more often with the same coaches and athletes.