How can it take place in your church or organization?
Pam Marmon has seen what can happen when organizational change, culture, and your prayers come together. Pam founded Threefold Tribe, an on-line education and change management consulting firm, whose sole mission is to equip church leaders with resources to optimize their ministry impact.
When she told me how she works with executive leaders of Fortune companies to help them implement organizational change and culture transformation that restores brokenness in the marketplace and brings organizational health, I said, “Tell me more.”
What I learned is that the “more” has to do with the Church!
“While every church is unique, certain challenges are emerging on a consistent basis. It’s all about change, and for church leaders change is hard and it’s constant. People transitions are on-going. Resources, no matter how large or small the church, are limited. And, there is never enough time to get everything done.”
“Given all this,” I asked her, how is ministry growth even possible?
Here is Pam’s response, in her own words:
The pre-requisite to achieving ministry growth is prayer.
Because God loves the Church and grows the church, we pray for his wisdom and guidance over the course of four steps:
1. Build change capacity into your church
We create change because we have to adapt to our environment and we manage change, so we don’t become obsolete and irrelevant. It’s a critical skill, and without an experienced guide, it can seem overwhelming.
2. Remove culture busters
People transition in and out of ministries for many reason, so we have to ask ourselves, “Is the culture of our church encouraging a higher level of unplanned people movement? And if the answer is, ”Yes,” then the next question is, “Why?”
A few specific “busters” to watch out for:
- Strict rules about everything that communicates a lack of trust toward staff and volunteers
- Unnecessary bureaucracy that leads to increased politics
- Burdensome processes that slows the speed of things getting done
3. Learn new skills
Daniel Pink’s research on motivation tells us that people are intrinsically motivated by autonomy, purpose, and mastery. When we master new skills, we expand our capabilities to deliver higher quality work. We may even feel better about ourselves. It takes resources, both human capital and financial, to make resources. The key is to cultivate a learning culture.
- Identify what skill sets your church needs in the future, and
- Encourage and celebrate when staff and volunteers stretch beyond their comfort zone to acquire new skill sets.
It takes but one person to ask, ‘God, what can you do with my skill set?’”
4. Tell time where to go
You may have heard Dave Ramsey say, “Tell your money where to go.” Similarly, because time management is a required capability for a healthy organization, we need to tell our time where to go.
It’s all about our relationship to time. If you continuously say, “There’s never enough time to get things done,” then it’s very likely you’re correct. Consider thinking about time differently: What if there is time for the important things that need to get done?
A great way to start the time management conversation with your staff is to bring your team together for a workshop (nothing complicated, it’s just a meeting) and ask:
- What is the most time-consuming task of your day?
- Do you understand how your work fits into the overall process of the team?
- What bottlenecks do we have in our processes?
- How can we creatively solve the bottlenecks and address productivity challenges?
- What metrics can we put in place to make progress?
Questions like these can spark conversations that empower staff and volunteers in the course of making strategic decisions.
Re-inventing ourselves can address some of the resource constraints your church may be facing.
Wherever we’re experiencing organizational change, all of us need to remind ourselves that our primary response to such change is prayer.
Our company’s name, Threefold Tribe, was inspired by the words of Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” It’s my hope and prayer that our own people would emulate long-lasting impact, partnerships, trust, and obedience to the call God has on all of us out of obedience to the Great Commission.
To think that it takes but one person to ask: “God, what can you do with my skill set? How can you help me build the Church with what you have given me?”
It’s Your Turn!
What if each person in your organization made this closing question his or her daily prayer this coming month? Who, in your mind, would be the perfect person to facilitate a conversation around what people received from God as they prayed?
“Why Communication Means Listening From the Start”
Jeff Lockyer, Lead Pastor
Southridge Community Church
St. Catharines, Ontario
The Employee Engagement Survey
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