There never seems to be enough time in the day. I might be the only one feeling this way, but something tells me that’s probably not the case. I constantly feel like I am spinning multiple plates, giving them just enough momentum to complete a few more revolutions before I can get my fingers on them again. This may sound a little dramatic, but I think you get the idea.
Here at The Unstuck Group, we serve hundreds of churches annually. As part of the Ministry Health Assessment phase of our process, we’ve developed some key metrics to help church leaders get an objective snapshot of the health of their church. Because of that, we’ve had our eye on these metrics for years, and we’ve often shared them with the churches we serve.
I have worked with a lot of churches. You name it, I’ve seen it. But, as time goes on, I’ve seen commonalities among teams and situations. In many cases, as we sit down to walk through a strategic plan, I’ve grown to expect a resistance for change. It is by no means unanimous resistance, but more so hesitancy among team members that are passionate about the traditions of the church.
There is a popular phrase often attributed to Peter Drucker that says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” After a time of careful research, I discovered that there is actually no evidence that he ever made this statement. In fact, there is no evidence that any leadership guru ever said it. It appears many different statements from several leaders were merged together over a period of years. Thus, “culture eats strategy for breakfast” burst onto the scene. And with its arrival came the notion that strategy is really not that important in leading an organization…
I grew up in the church.
Each Sunday, I would sit in the pew, listen to the sermon, watch the offering plate pass around, finish with the Lord’s prayer, and that was my Sunday. I would say that I enjoyed my church, but looking back, one significant aspect was missing:
It was never explained why we give, how we give, or what we give – we just gave.
Many years ago, I visited a town in Arizona called… wait for it… Nothing. You’ve probably not heard of Nothing, Arizona because, well, it’s essentially nothing. Here’s the sign that hangs in the center of the town:
Talking with your leadership team about money is rarely easy. Changing the way you spend it is even harder.
If you’re working with your leadership team to implement a strategic plan, it’s important to start a healthy conversation about finances to effectively navigate this touchy subject together.
I’m growing more and more convinced that the worst thing a church team can do is try to reach a consensus about something. On the surface, reaching a consensus seems like a positive thing because it means everyone has agreed to move in the same direction. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?