For a church plant to thrive, it must do all three well. Using this information, I have expanded my thinking around these areas.
I’ve discovered, for example …
1. Everyone in the church tends to prefer one of these three, even though all of us need all three to be successful in our role.
2. For a position to be most successful, it should have a primary focus on one of these three, although, again, all of them are necessary for every position.
3. If a person is mismatched in one of these, they will more quickly burn out. A person with a preference for growth, for example, will burnout sooner when they are in the maintenance function.
4. We have to discipline ourselves as leaders and team members to make sure all three of these are a part of our work and the church.
5. I have heard some people say they love all of these, or really “confident” people say they are good at all of them. I question this. In my experience, they may enjoy elements of all of them, and may even be good at all of them to some degree, but there will be one preference in the bunch (and weaknesses they can’t see in one of them). For years, I thought I would be good at the maintenance need, because I like organizational efficiency. When I was put in that position exclusively, I bombed at it.
6. When shaping a team, we need to make sure people specializing in all three are represented, and allowed to lead in their area of strength.
With these understandings, I have frequently walked our staff through each of these in a retreat setting. We expand our thoughts on these three needs as they relate to the life of our church and each individual area in which we serve. The discussion always leads to ways we can improve in each of these areas. As a pastor/leader, knowing the importance of each of these, I want to make sure we are excelling in all of them. That’s a healthy church.
For disclosure, I’m a development guy. My lesser strength is in the maintenance area, but I have seen what happens when we are weak in this area. I love the growth area, being a starter and entrepreneurial, but in an established church, I always drift towards development, which usually involves starting something new. If that’s all I had to do, I’d be happy. To be an effective leader, however, I must discipline my time to focus on all three needs. I can specialize in one, but I must be committed to playing a part in each area.
Some questions to ask, considering these three basic needs:
Which of these are missing most in your church?
Which of these do you prefer doing most? (If you say all, let me encourage you to reconsider your answer.)
Should you discipline yourself in the other areas so you can be a healthier church?
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