Before you go to a “Purpose model” of church (like the Ms)… resign!

If there’s one aspect of the Purpose model of church structure that you really need to get, it’s that you need to resign as a single Congregation Pastor before you do it.

I don’t mean resign in the sense that you hand in your notice. Rather I mean in your heart you have to stop thinking of yourselves as only responsible for “that” congregation at St Something Church. To move to something like the Ms model of a church staff team, you need to start seeing yourself as the pastor of the whole church. Everyone. No matter what congregation they go to. Even if you’ve been the 8am silver-haired pastor for 20 years… if you’re going to take on the Membership M, you have to choose which role is going to come first. Either you’re going to be the 8am pastor who happens to try and get people to welcome well so people join well, or, you’re going to pastor every single soul at all 4 congregations towards being welcoming and loving to their brothers and sisters in Christ and help them invite people to join whatever congregation well.

This shouldn’t put us off… it’s exactly what the senior pastor has to deal with as any church grows and as there are several congregations… He has to see himself as the pastor of all those people, not of those congregations.

To put it another way, the Ms structure of church stops staff teams from thinking so structurally about ministry.

Reblog: Tensions to manage, not solve

If you have portfolio ministries, you have multiple purposes, visions and goals for each portfolio. These are all things that you need to hold in tension with each other.
The wrong approach is to try to find a compromise between those purposes, visions and goals; ultimately reducing them to vague fluff.
Of course you will need to make actual daily decisions and choose one thing or another. But that’s the point… If you keep those purposes really crystal clear then you’ll be best placed to make the best decision when the time comes.
If you have portfolio managers this means they need to fight and trust.

Reblog: Staff should fight and trust

A staff team is made up of different perspectives, strengths and weaknesses. A good team member will be aware of their own weaknesses, and the other’s strengths. And this will lead to good fighting based on strong trust.

I will want to hear my staff team’s opinions on things I’m doing because I know my weaknesses, and I trust they are not out for their own glory, for their own portfolio or to make me look bad. I don’t have I agree with them, and I might still argue my case. But that’s exactly what should happen.

How to run a “Ministry review” discussion

So, you’ve planned, organised, delegated, ran and even cleaned up that big ministry event/thing. How do you conduct a review with the team?

1. Acknowledge the fears in the room; some people know they didn’t pull their weight. Some people know their thing didn’t really work. Some people are afraid they just about to get blamed. Acknowledge those fears, speak about them.

2. Go back and remind people of the purpose of the event. What was the big thing you were hoping it would achieve? Start by critiquing that. Was it a good goal? Would you keep it as the goal if you had the chance again? Did the purpose/goal slip from view in the planning/execution?

3. Avoid anecdotal evidence. As much as possible, try to use hard data. Numbers, ratios of new/existing, number of comments, time it started/ended.

4. Talk improvements, not mistakes. There’s a fine line there, but it’s a heart issue.