“What have we always done?” is a static question. “What can we do well right now?” is a dynamic question.
We can answer the first question with an Org Chart. We can only answer the second question by knowing the people in our church, discipling them to grow in their faith, helping them develop their leadership abilities, and knowing how to combine their diverse gifts and personalities to create workable teams.
4. Replace the Org Chart with a better system of communication
Lack of an Org Chart is no excuse for lack of organization. The best way to keep organized in a small church with constantly shifting positions is to communicate constantly, communicate concisely, and communicate compassionately.
First, communicate constantly. The more things change, the more we need to keep the channels of communication open.
Second, communicate concisely. We live in an age of information overload. The last thing any of us want is another meeting to go to or another email to answer. So if we’re going to communicate constantly, we need to do so in the most concise, useful ways possible. Use a planning app, a wall calendar, or whatever tools work best for your situation. And keep your meetings as short and useful as possible.
Third, communicate positively. If the only time you’re hearing from a team member is when someone is complaining, communication will dry up. We need to keep the conversation about problem-solving, not blame-placing.
5. Be persistent, patient and compassionate
This takes time. Don’t rush it. But don’t give up on it, either. And don’t dismiss the feelings of the hard-working member who’s having a difficult time with the transition.
Change can happen. People can learn. But if we really want people to become more adaptable to change, sometimes the first adaptation is in the heart of the leader who wants to rush things along too fast.
It’s better to do it well than to do it fast. And a big part of doing it well is bringing as many people along for the ride as possible.
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