Thanks for joining us on Season 6 of The Flourishing Culture Podcast, brought to you by The Best Christian Workplaces Institute. You’ll learn how to build a flourishing workplace culture that drives the ministry impact of your organization, your church, or your company brought to you by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute. Now here’s your host, BCWI CEO, Al Lopus.
Today is a special and unique episode, listen to my conversation with a leader who is in his fifth decade of spiritual and organizational leadership. He can honestly say, each organization he has served was healthier when he left than when he started. Learn from his immense wisdom and listen to his personal challenge for you at the end of our conversation.
Listen to the Audio
Organizations have seasons of growth and change. Through each season your leadership team needs a variety of competencies to help your organization thrive. Our guest today will help you understand the skills that you need to find and build into your leadership team. These principles apply whether you lead a small ministry or a large, complex organization.
I’m delighted to welcome Jim Tomberlin who is the Multisite and Merger Strategist at The Unstuck Group. Jim has pastored churches in New Mexico and Germany, grown a megachurch in Colorado, and pioneered the multisite strategy for a megachurch in Illinois. He has been consulting and coaching church leaders in multisite strategy for more than 15 years.
Welcome back, Jim.
If you want to reinforce your culture, hire from within. But when you need to change your culture, or an aspect of your culture bring someone from outside who can help do that.”
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- Jim – you have been following Jesus for many years and leading in local churches, large organizations, and now consulting. What are some habits or practices that have sustained you over the years, even as your roles and responsibilities have changed? (02:19)
- “Your ministry is really the overflow of your life with Jesus.” -Charles Stanley (03:19)
- Delight—David wrote in Psalm 37:4 to “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” When I am truly delighting in the Lord and putting his Kingdom first (Matt 6:33) (03:53)
- Experience – I learned from Henry Blackaby years ago that if I want to experience God, ask Him where He is working and when He shows you, that is the invitation to join Him there. Watch & obey! (04:27)
- As you work with church leadership teams, how do you help them identify and build the leadership skills that they need to lead into their future? (05:19)
- I like to ask leaders and leadership teams–what does success look like for you in 1, 3, and 5 years? The answer to that question will clarify what they need and need to do to achieve their success. (05:38)
- When a church comes to you for help, they may have had a period of growth in the past but are losing momentum. Share with us the process that you go through with a church leadership team as you help them get “unstuck.” (06:11)
- The primary role of a leader and the senior leadership team is to define reality. All great leaders do three things. (05:38)
- They define reality: Where are we now?
- They cast a vision for the future: This is where we want to go!
- And they chart the course: This is the way to the future; follow me.
- The key ingredients of getting a church or organization unstuck revolves around these steps: (07:55)
- Clarify Mission/Vision/Strategy “Clarity isn’t everything, but it changes everything.” Will Mancini
- Align staff, finances, and calendar with the Mission, Vision, and Strategy
- Reorganize staff to be in alignment with the Mission, Vision, and Strategy— (on/off the bus, right seats, import/export, reinforce/change culture)
- Reshape Culture. Intentionally & continuously focus on cultivating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture:
- Reshape culture through Values – how do we want to work together? (reinforce/aspire, reflective/aspirational)
- Standardize salary ranges & benefits with fair and equitable staffing practices
- Reinforce & reward behavior through semi-annual evaluations of mutually-owned objectives and goals.
- Rebuild Trust with transparency, integrity, over-communication, and competence
- If you want to reinforce your culture, hire from within. But when you need to change your culture, or an aspect of your culture bring someone from outside who can help do that. (09:19)
- Some of your consulting work involves church mergers – which are a complicated process. When does a merger make sense for a church and how can they be successful in the process? (11:11)
- Mergers that have good outcomes are like a dance where one leads and the other follows. It’s very important that both churches understand upfront who is the lead church and who is the joining church. And the lead church is not necessarily the biggest, or wealthiest but is the healthiest. (12:52)
- Of course, this involves helping people move through change. Changes in a leadership team are inevitable. How do you help a leader or leadership team know when they need to move out of an organization and help bring in new leaders? (17:32)
- It always gets back to having clarity and alignment around Mission & Vision – “Why do we exist and what does the future look like if we accomplish our mission?” That being said, effective teams always revolve around the 4 C’s – Character, Competence, Chemistry, Calling. (18:07)
- Here at the Best Christian Workplaces Institute, we are all about helping teams flourish. I know you have used our engagement survey in your work at Christ Fellowship in Miami. How has that process helped the team identify leadership skills and competencies that they want to develop? (19:27)
- The BCWI survey provided a safe format for staff feedback. The survey affirmed what we were doing right, highlighted what we needed to get better at, and revealed things we needed to correct. (20:01)
- You have helped many leaders develop the skills they need to lead a multi-site church model. Share with us some of the particular leadership competencies that are essential for multi-site churches. And how might these skills also be part of the toolkit for other organizations that have teams spread across geographical areas?
- One of the best outcomes of becoming a flourishing workplace was the restoring of trust in the leadership. (21:33)
- You have helped many leaders develop the skills they need to lead a multi-site church model. Share with us some of the particular leadership competencies that are essential for multi-site churches. And how might these skills also be part of the toolkit for other organizations that have teams spread across geographical areas? (22:00)
- Multisite is a healthy church model. Multisite is all about reproducing and multiplying ministry best practices across multiple locations but it also reproduces whatever is not healthy in a church. (22:30)
- Organizations and churches of all sizes have had to adapt to changing conditions in the past two years. What changes do you think will be here for the long-term as leaders guide their local church communities for spiritual growth and flourishing? (24:02)
- The best church workplaces in the new normal are churches with flourishing, compelling, mission-driven cultures that are fun & flexible places to work, with competitive salaries & benefits with opportunities to grow. These are the churches that are going to attract and sustain top talent. (26:00)
Buy Jim and Warren’s book: Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work – Expanded and Updated
Download BCWI’s four-page guide for inspirational leadership in crisis for FREE.
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