By Tiffany Deluccia
Mark Meyer is the newest member of The Unstuck Group team, having joined us at the beginning of 2014. His experience contributes a distinct perspective on strategic ways of thinking that churches can employ to build culture and stay focused on their mission.
Read on to find out more about Mark and his thoughts on what churches should be doing in 2014 to maximize team performance and culture.
TIFFANY: Tell me a little about your background and experience that led you to join The Unstuck Group this year.
MARK: I’ve been in the business arena for 25 years (most recently as COO of a technology consulting company) and have served in various leadership roles at my church (Granger Community Church) as it has grown from 300 to 5,000 attendees. I live in both worlds as a preacher’s kid and a business dude.
The Unstuck Group is about bringing best practices and strategic thinking to the Church at a time when many are in decline, spinning their wheels or having troubles breaking through lids. The message of Christ is the greatest hope in our world, and having an opportunity to be part of this team–to roll up our sleeves with churches across the country–is exciting!
TIFFANY: How/when did you discover you had a passion for helping churches get unstuck?
MARK: Really, it’s been an evolution over time. As my experiences grew, it became clear to me that the expectations, questions and rhythms in business were different than most churches I encountered. At the same time, I had a unique opportunity to learn more about leadership from my church than any corporate experience.
More than anything else, Christ matters. The Church can’t afford to spin its wheels: We’re called to bring our best. That drives my passion to help churches get unstuck.
TIFFANY: You’re fond of saying you believe the Church and businesses can learn a lot from each other. Could you share some specific observations?
MARK: The Church and the message of Christ says that all people matter, we’re made for a purpose, and are uniquely gifted. I believe these values can and should carry over into the business community. Far too many organizations struggle to communicate the “why” (beyond a paycheck) for their employees. They have dust collecting on their plaques of core values.
Strong businesses understand who their target client is and what they value. They adapt as they learn and build relationships with people to sell their goods and services.
I don’t think many churches really understand what the “Average Joe” in their towns actually thinks about church or why he doesn’t have an interest in being part of it. Together, we need to do a much better job of figuring that out. It’s hard work and takes great intentionality to build relationships with people outside of the Church and to earn the right to have great conversations with them.
TIFFANY: What is the first action step you would recommend to a Church or business that realizes it needs to make maximizing team performance and culture a priority in 2014?
MARK: Candid perspective is critical for any organization that wants to understand how they got where they are today and what’s working, broken, confused or missing. Like a NASCAR driver, every once in a while you have to make a pit stop.
We overvalue our busy schedules and confuse that with productivity when often we’re simply continuing to drift off target. I’d recommend they start by asking the hard questions: Do we know what is really working? Is our message connecting? Is our team clear on the vision? Without taking a brief timeout as a team, you’ll eventually run out of fuel.