Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Adapting Organizationally (Part One)

I've posted some thoughts that I recently shared with the Elders of Grace Church on how we as an organization must be willing to create a mindset that sees adaptability as not just tolerable, but the norm. Part Two deals with how it impacts the Grace Church staff.

I recently read an article from the Church Executive website entitled “The paradigm has shifted and effective churches will adapt” that got me thinking about the Grace Church organizational structure. The author (Rex Miller) spent a few moments commenting on the new landscape of 2009 in light of the unpredictability and turmoil of failed institutions/organizations. One of his statements that he later applied to the church really caught my attention. He stated “One of the messages from last year’s financial collapse is that traditional institutions are not built to navigate in a rapidly changing world.” As I read this statement I am quick to place the “church” into the term “traditional institutions.” I believe this is proven true in that statistics will show that since 1950, mainline churches have declined at a steady rate because their “basic structure, culture and operations has changed little.”

With this in mind, I am firmly committed to continuing the process of evaluating our current systems of operation on all levels in order to create a staff and organization that is adaptable to our ever changing culture. My goal is to provide more than just management of current systems, but innovative leadership as our ministry seeks to navigate its way through a culture that sees institutional effectiveness in decline. Statistics have shown that the millennial generation (born between 1978-2003) will represent 50% of our workforce by 2018 which can be carried into the church as well. In light of this, leaders must take seriously the call to move away from institutionalizing their ministries as this generation is more concerned about making a difference in their world with their time, abilities and money rather than putting it into buildings and infrastructure.

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