How did an extraordinary church in Normal, Illinois, use the stresses and strains of managing runaway staff growth to revolutionize their culture—and celebrate new ministry impact?
“Our congregation was growing rapidly—and so was our staff. How were we going to mobilize nearly 100 people—each with different gifts, abilities and responsibilities and goals—in one direction? The fact is, we were doing human resources by committee with volunteer staff, and it wasn’t working.”
“The breakthrough came when we stopped seeing HR as some kind of add-on committee and instead started embracing HR as a needed, strategic investment that’s helping us advance our vision and increase our ministry impact.”
We stopped seeing HR as a committee and started embracing it as a strategic investment that’s helping us advance our vision and increase ministry impact.
How did this transformation take place? What did church leaders do to make it happen? Tyler shares these highlights:
- Step one was taking the BCWI Employee Engagement Survey. It convinced our senior pastor and all leadership that from here on we had to rely on objective, empirical feedback to show us our strengths, as well as the areas we needed to improve.
- We leveraged some great information—best practices for performance feedback and competency training that actually sped up our management process.
- A structured all-day spiritual retreat, twice a year, refreshes our people and their desire to abide in Christ.
- Then, (and this was key), we identified the six most critical competencies for every job role:
- For our directors: Strategic agility, priority setting, developing direct reports, conflict management, interpersonal savvy and building effective teams.
- For our associate directors (in addition to developing direct reports and interpersonal savvy): Functional technical skills, time management, action-orientation and motivation of others.
Says Tyler, “By investing in the direct overseers, they became healthier and so did those accountable to them.
Here’s the best part of all. I asked Tyler, “How are these improvements affecting your ministry impact? What’s one thought you’d like leave with leaders?” He smiled and, once again, cut to the chase:
- “Our strategic investment in our people—whether they benefit from a BCWI 360 Review, the Survey or our Employee Lifecycle Plan—is developing role competence and a deepening spiritual walk with Christ.
- “Our people are happy and healthy and always looking to grow.
- “Our culture remains a creative, dynamic, productive and fun place to work.
“Our culture makeover has to do with our faithful, loving God. We never want to lose the wonder and awe that God actually uses everyday people like us to do his work.
“As we often say, we’re here at Eastview Christian Church not because we’re good, but because we’re blessed.”
We never want to lose the wonder and awe that God actually uses everyday people like us to do his work.