Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seven Practices of Effective Ministry

Last year I was privileged to get my hands on an awesome book that summarizes a lot of what I learned in my Organizational Leadership studies: 7 Practices of Effective Ministry.

It takes some fairly complex concepts and puts them in ways that are easy to understand, communicate, and apply. This is something that we were working through in Breckenridge when I left and something that we have started working through with our leadership team at Bethel Minneapolis!
Here's a quick summary. I highly recommend this book to you if you are in leadership.

Practice #1 – Clarify the Win: Define what is important at every level of the organization.
  • As long as the win in unclear, you force your team to guess at what a win looks like.
  • If the win is unclear, you may force those in leadership roles to define winning in their own terms.
  • When you clarify the win on every level you help your team stay on the same page.
  • When you clarify the win you can manage your resources effectively.
Practice #2 – Think Steps, not Programs: Before you start anything, make sure it takes you where you need to go.
  • Every step should be easy
  • Every step has to be obvious
  • Every step must be strategic
Practice #3 – Narrow the Focus: Do fewer things in order to make a greater impact.
  • Churches feel constant pressure to provide programs on the basis of needs.
  • Resist complexity and pursue simplicity.
  • Choose what potentially works best over what is presently working.
  • The more you focus the environment, the greater the relevance, the better the connection, the higher the quality, and the stronger the impact.
Practice #4 – Teach Less for More: Say only what you need to say to the people who need to hear it.
  • Decide what you are going to say
  • Decide to say one thing at a time
  • Decide how you are going to say it
  • Say it over and over again
Practice #5 – Listen to Outsiders: Focus on who you’re trying to reach, not who you’re trying to keep.
- (we really miss the boat the on this one sometimes)

Practice #6 – Replace Yourself: Learn to hand off what you do.
  • Prepare someone to do what you do and strategically replace yourself.
Practice #7 – Work On It: Take time to evaluate your work, and to celebrate your wins.

I highly reccomend you read this book if you would like to know some of the details involved in this process. You may also find it helpful to go through this with your leadership team and apply this to every level of leadership.

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