Saturday, May 30, 2009

Evaluating Second Statement of Change

"Is our current structure the best structure to respond to the external and internal stimuli we are currently experiencing?"
Since taking over as the Executive Pastor of Grace Church, this is a statement I grapple with on almost a daily basis. I believe one of the reasons I am forever asking this question of our ministry is because of the external and internal stimuli we face regularly.
Some of the external stimuli we face relates to our need to function as a legal organization within this wonderful community called Lititz. As laws and procedures change within our country, so to does the way we need to manage our employees, monies, facility etc... Seeking to stay ahead of the eight ball in these areas is a challenge and is why it has been imperative over the past few months to put into place a management team for Grace Ministries. Our need to have qualified and skilled people with a passion for our ministry taking the lead on many of these changes is crucial as it will impact our internal structures for many years to come. This will be a challenge as many of our structures have been ones that have been the "norm" for many years, but the norm doesn't cut it in a rapidly changing world where flex and fluidity need to be words we are comfortable with.
Some of the internal stimuli we face relates to our organizational structure needing to keep pace with the tremendous spiritual and numerical growth we are experiencing as a church. Numerical growth in and of itself forces us to grapple with decisions and choices that many smaller ministries will never face or have to discuss. This can lead to tension at times for the majority of us who either work or attend Grace are not used to the challenges a growing & changing church bring. But, we are also finding that spiritual growth impacts our internal structures as well. Our need to continue building upon the discipleship process for all Christ followers within our ministry grows ever challenging as we grow and see more and more people striving to be Christ followers. Thankfully, technology and the empowering and releasing of God's people to do God's work will help us navigate and move forward with great success for years to come.
As I reflect upon the above mentioned statement of change, I cannot help but think that it is one of the most helpful statements to ever keep before me as I give leadership here at Grace. Because it is our desire as a team to always be riding the wave God has us on, I refuse to let a structure stand in the way. If the structure needs to be evaluated, revised or even torn down to make room for new structures, I and the rest of the team must be willing to do so as God leads.
The bottom line is this... I don't want to get to heaven someday and hear God say; "Good job, but you could have done so much more if you had been willing to flex and change your man made structures that got in the way."

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