Grace Institute News
May 30, 2012
bogged down or streamlined?
Does it ever feel like you are walking through a swamp getting decisions made in your church? The temptation is to think that it is obstinacy of people that causes it, but sometimes it is structure that people are trying to overcome. Here are some samples of bogged down structure...
- Everyone in the congregation feels like they need to be consulted and weigh in on a direction decision (not unusual in very small congregations)
- You have a board of 75 people that is tasked with things like deciding whether to order paper for the office
- Many decisions are made at an entire congregational meeting where people have about 5 minutes to reflect on consequences
- Decisions are made in meetings where the loudest person is able to sway results because of so little time allowed on a topic
Much of this trouble comes from the fact that over the years many churches adopted a much more democratic style of functioning than a biblical one, meaning, everyone needed a say. But as a church grows and develops, the more the leadership needs to be trusted and various sub-groups need to be given the authority (and responsibility and accountability) to function on their own within frameworks. When too many people have to be consulted on even minor issues, ministry is delayed, is often done poorly, and lacks the urgent passion that it requires.
Part of the reason it results in ministry done poorly is that a basic principle is ignored...Decisions should generally be made by people/groups who have spent the most time reflecting/praying about them instead of leaving them to a larger group that spends just a few minutes.
Do you ever feel bogged down? Here are some questions to use:
- Is there is a disconnect between the group that has authority and those that have responsibility and accountability?
- Which groups actually spends the most time in deliberation/reflection/ prayer?
- Does our constitution essentially make our whole congregation a committee of the whole?
- Does our governing board have more than 15-20 people on it?
- Do we find ourselves regularly waiting for another major meeting to get a decision on issues that are minor?
Sometimes a simple structural change can make all the difference in streamlining your ministry.
| MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012
at EUREKA COLLEGE We're getting excited...are you?
Check it out! It's gonna be worth your time!
an ongoing conversation
> How do you plan worship?
> How do you combine old and new?
> What can you do to engage everyone?
Planning worship is much more than choosing a few songs. How do you give different avenues for people to connect with God? Listen in on an interview with Michelle Jenks, who is the pastor of worship at her church and currently taking graduate classes in worship, as she discusses some helpful ideas to use as you plan worship.