Friday, August 13, 2004

Church and My Work - Learning to See and Taking Responsibility for Leadership

Sorry for the light blogging, it has been a very busy (12 hours a day) time at work. I am taking today off. So I have some time.

Our God is so Good!! At my work as I posted I am training people who are superior to me in status and it has been very hard. We train on the role of "observation" in leadership. The big point is to know what actually makes you money (which is the process which makes the product or service you provide) and observe this actual process itself directly. When you do, if you learn to see correctly, you will observe opportunities to improve. Also, if as a leader you ask, "why has it taken us so long to make these usually simple improvements?", the leader will realize that he has not created a system or process for actual improvement. Usually, this training session which is three days long creates emotional responses from leaders. The training can be embarrassing. The training can be invigorating. The training can be overwhelming. The leader deep down inside is thinking, "Am i an idiot or what? Why have I had my head in the clouds for so long? I had no idea we were this disorganized." This revelation can be difficult to handle.

In the church, the weight of this discovery is even heavier. Also, the defenses which protect the leader and the believer from taking responsibility to make changes are deeply held and even religious beliefs. For example, I often say churches don't grow because people are not growing the church. There is no formal process in place to actually do the stuff that grows churches. If there is no formal process, how can we measure the effectiveness of the process and how can we improve the process if the process doesn't even exist and its effects are not being measured. At the church I just started pastoring in July, we have no actual evangelism and enfolding ministry. We do zero advertising. We do no marketing. We make no contacts and we don't even register visitors. There is no information table and not even any children's ministry during the service so that parents are able to enjoy the service.

The current state is that we cater to families that already are part of the church community and know the church exists. These people know their way around the church campus and have long-term relationships with people in the church. Such a process cannot grow a church.

How hard is it for a congregation to accept that a complete change of "the way we do things" must happen if we are to survive. The love for the church is very deep and the thought of change is very threatening.

Nonetheless, the leader must take responsibility and go forward with the development of the process and design the process which will effectively grow the church. A church needs good information to make the visitor feel comfortable, there must be a safe place for kids to go during the service and learn in a child friendly environment. The signage must be clear so the visitor is not confused. Greeters need to be present in the right places to help greet and direct. The community must know the church exists. There needs to be advertising and events that are well marketed. The congregation needs training to invite their friends and neighbors to the church. This process must be formal and measurable and the pastor must respond to the indicators of the effectiveness of his process design. We must be wise master-builders. We must simple open our eyes to see things the way they are and design a process that will effectively accomplish the mission. This practical approach to simple problems based on observation of the way we do things is the practical outcome of the 21st Century Reformation.

2 comments:

UNCHEWABLE said...

i agree with you whole heartedly (spelling?) what steps are you going to take to do this? How will you dress the marketing vs being real question (which is more effective?) Should we cater to a specific demographic or try to make a new mold in which people are given an example of what to become together as a church family

passthebread said...

I don't like one demographic or catering to certain people. Be authentic and biblical BUT make contacts and make sure all the systems are in place.
that's the real deal.
brad