Structure is Not the Goal

In growing churches things can often feel chaotic. More and more people are showing up every week which means space can become an issue…quick. You’ve got to figure out where to put all those new 2-year-olds, parking can be limited, new staff members are added, volunteers seem to be in short supply, and you may even have to start new worship services to accommodate the growth. But people are meeting Jesus and their lives are being changed. It’s exciting!

If you’ve ever experienced a season of ministry like this you know how fun it can be. Churches during this phase of growth often hear people say things like, “There’s just something about this place.” They’re experiencing success, they’re just not exactly sure why. Even staff members sit back and watch it at moments hoping to ride the wave of momentum and not get in the way and mess it up.

Inevitably someone comes along and identifies the fact that we can’t operate like a “Mom & Pop” organization anymore. It could be the Board, the Pastor, or a trusted senior level Staff Member. But eventually someone will say something like; “We need to set up the proper structures to help us move past the chaos and into the future.”

This is where things can go south, quick. While various structures, systems, and processes can be helpful; they’re not the goal.

1. The Vision is the Goal not the Structures

It’s not wrong to add structures; in fact they can be helpful. Just remember structure isn’t the goal, the vision is. The goal is not to have a nice clean tidy ship, the goal is to get the ship where Jesus wants it to go. Don’t get those two things confused.

2. Structures are Designed to Serve the Vision not the other way around

Structures are fine as long as they serve the vision and help you get where Jesus wants you to go. The moment the structure becomes a lid or hindrance to the vision it’s time for it to go.

3. Structures should lag Behind Chaos

Whenever structures get out in front of chaos you will begin to constrict and starve the vision, and things will begin to slow. Structure should live in the wake of the vision, not the other way around.

Photo Credit: psyberartist via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership

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