Tag Archive - eagle brook

2

Are you more concerned about your Bible Study or your Neighbor?

I’ve mentioned before that at Sun Valley (the church I have the privilege of serving at) we routinely gather the staff from all of our campuses together for a time of worship, celebration, communication, training…and of course a good meal. Recently we had the opportunity to spend some time with Dale Peterson who serves as the Executive Director of the Eagle Brook Association. Here are some of my notes from the conversation.

  • The demand for people to know Christ is greater than our current capacity…so what are we going to do?
  • Acts 2:
    • The first church was a megachurch
    • They grew numerically daily
    • Will you be a church where people follow Jesus and a church that I can actually invite my friends to
      • People don’t invite people to things that are average
      • You can’t hire average people because average people get average results
    • Spend time with God
      • If you know God’s heart you’ll make decisions based on God’s heart for people
    • Connect in Community
    • Serve Others out of our giftedness
    • Life Generously
  • BUT what the church wants:
    • Bible study and that’s not bad, unless it stops there
    • Fellowship with people that look and act like us
    • Help out (out of guilt)
    • Give 2.5% of their income to make sure their favorite ministry programs happen and the pastor gets a paycheck so we can keep the doors open
    • 80% of churches in America are plateaued or declining and see 1 conversion a year
    • 3,500 churches in America die every year…last year was the first year church planters kept up with the death rate so it was a zero sum game
    • And there are more people on earth than ever before…the harvest is greater than it’s ever been
    • Passion alone is not enough to motivate the church to go and reach people for Jesus
    • Most Christians are more worried about their bible study than their neighbor
    • Most Christians are sitting around praying and waiting for God to do something at their church…and He did 2,000 years ago…stop praying and do something
    • Most people in ministry are relegated to zookeepers…they feed the church and clean up after it…but the church has nothing to offer outsiders
    • People drive by the church and never think the church has anything to offer them
    • Vision statements don’t change the church
    • Churches that get it done build the right kind of culture
  • Building a vision culture
    • Beliefs: foundational beliefs, what we’re wiling to die for…just a couple (let’s not be willing to die for everything) there’s things we’re willing to die for, there’s things we’ll defend, and there’s things we’ll discuss
    • Values: (beliefs and values answer the question of who are we) – these are the desired behaviors that we’d like the whole church to act like…then we create ministry programs that produce the behaviors that we value most
    • Purpose: Why…Reunited in relationship with the Father (lost people are what Jesus cares about) Matt. 22
    • Mission: What we do…Matt. 28 (reach)…the front door into the church
    • Strategy: How we do it here (is this still working?…and how do you know?)
    • Goals: tell you where you’re going and when you’ll get there
  • How can 3,500 churches die every year while doing their bible studies when there are 7billion people on the planet

Posted in Leadership

1

How to Speed up Decision Making at your Church

After working with over 25 churches across the country this past year, I realized there is a common challenge that growing churches face. It’s a challenge that frustrates leaders, slows progress in critical areas, and causes an undercurrent of strain between teammates. This challenge is lack of clarity around decision making. When churches are small, and there are a few leaders who lead the church, it’s pretty clear who makes what calls. But as churches grow and more leaders are added to the team, it’s not long before confusion sets in around “Who gets to make what decisions”. Often all decisions start to feel like we have to have total consensus to move on anything. Did I mention frustration sets in?

About 5 years ago the fog lifted for me. On a team retreat, our Executive team had the privilege of working with Jim Dethmer, Co-Founder of Conscious Leadership Group. He walked us though an exercise called Decision Rights. He said before a decision can be made, the team has to first decide how the decision will be made. Who holds the decision rights?

The chart below illustrates the 7 ways decisions can be made. The two variables to keep in mind are the amount of time it takes to make a decision and the level of buy-in it generates.

7 Levels of Decision Rights

  1. Leader Decides: This is the quickest way to make a decision because no other input is required in the decision making. A leader is simply appointed to make the decision. Buy-in is often very low at this level.
  2. Leader Decides with Input: A leader is appointed to make the decision, but is also instructed to get input from others prior to making the decision. Because other voices are in the mix, there is an increased level of buy-in.
  3. *Sub-Group decides: A small team or a sub-group is tasked with making the decision.
  4. *Sub Group decides with Input: The sub-group makes the decision after getting input from others.
  5. Majority Vote: Just like it sounds, once options have been discussed, whichever option gets the most votes wins.
  6. Consensus: Consensus is reached once all team members involved in making the decision are no longer opposed or are neutral towards the option that’s been laid out.
  7. Alignment: Different from consensus, alignment requires that all team members are in total agreement that it’s the right decision.

* For’ Sub-Group’ and ‘Sub-Group’ decides with Input – the sub-group still needs to determine how they will make the decision (Majority Vote, Consensus or Alignment)

Here’s a practical example of how this works. Let’s say your church is out of space on Sunday morning. Your two services are full, and you know you need to launch a 3rd service in the fall. How will, and who will, make that decision? Here are the options:

  1. Leader Decides: You appoint a leadership team member to make the call. It takes very little time to make the decision, but also creates very little buy-in. There will most likely be a lot push-back and complaining from the team members that have to rally their teams to accommodate this decision.
  2. Leader Decides with Input: You appoint a leader to make the decision, but require them to go and talk to the key ministry leaders that will be impacted by whatever decision is made. While not adding a lot of time in the decision-making process, the leader has more wisdom in making the best decision, and a little more buy-in is created.
  3. Sub-Group decides: You appoint the heads of worship, ministry, and operations to make the decision. You feel they know their areas and will make the best decision with the time you have to make the decision.
  4. Sub Group decides with Input: Same as above, but you add time and potential buy-in to the process by requiring them to get input from all of their team leads.
  5. Majority Vote: The leadership team brainstorms all of the options, narrows it to three, and then you take a vote. The option with the most votes wins. (By the way, Majority Vote can be good for a lunch decision like “Chipotle or Chick-fil-A” – but not much else.)
  6. Consensus: All of the options are vetted by the team and then each team member gets a vote – opposed, neutral, favorable. Our team did it this way. Once the options were narrowed down, and there appeared to be a leaning towards the best service time, we would do a rock-paper-scissors style vote. On the count of three, we would put each put out the number of fingers that represented our perspective. 1 finger=opposed, 2 fingers= still opposed, but less strongly, 3 fingers= neutral, 4 fingers= favorable with a few remaining concerns, 5 fingers= very favorable. Once we were all at a 3 or above, we had “consensus”.
  7. Alignment: Drawing from the last illustration, everyone on the team puts out 5 fingers. One 4 – and you do not have alignment.

3 Key Learnings as our team adopted the Decision Rights model:

  1. Not every decision warrants consensus. Different types of decisions warrant different types of decision rights. By thinking through what level of buy-in is needed and how much time you have to make a decision, this allows the right level of decision making.
  2. You can strive for consensus, but can also have a back-up plan. In this example of adding a service time, you can shoot for consensus, but you also have to make the decision by a certain date in order to allow time for the teams to prepare for the change. The back-up plan, set up from the get-go says, “if we aren’t able to come to consensus by July 31, Jim’s going to decide (Leader Decides).
  3. Bringing clarity in advance to who is making the decision is freeing! Everyone knows their role. If you have no role in it, then you don’t have to expend any energy on it. If you’re giving input, you can speak honestly and openly, and then your job is done. If you have a vote, that’s clear as well.

This is a guest post by Amy Anderson who serves as a Ministry Consultant with the Unstuck Group. Amy served as the Executive Director of Weekend Services for over 12 years at Eagle Brook Church in the Twin Cities, helping the church grow from 3,000 to over 20,000. Today she works with churches of all sizes, providing a fresh perspective and concrete strategies to strengthen their processes, staff health and weekend experience.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing, Testimonial