At Grace Hills, one of the most important things we ever talk about is our Code – our Core Values. We talk about these values in every membership class and in most staff meetings. They’ve done more to guide our growth than anything else we’ve written down.
In the Bourne series, the assassins (who are the central characters) are referred to by their controlling agency merely as “assets.” Sometimes I fear that within Christian ministry, we fall into the terrible habit of treating people as assets – instruments to help us get ministry done successfully rather than people with souls. One of the values I remind myself of often is that people are not a means for getting ministry done. People are the ministry. And those who volunteer are not placed in our path to make us successful, but so that we can help them to grow and to move forward.
One of the challenges of church planting is staying lean. I became a Pastor under a programmatic mindset – offer enough things and more people will come. Thankfully, I came across a good book long ago that helped to shift my thinking. Instead of a list of programs to attract people, what we really need is a simple process for growing people.
Some churches view the staff as hired workers. If that is the case in your church, respect your leaders and don’t blame any rebellious attitudes on what I am about to say about this. Other churches view the staff as interdependent creative thinkers and leaders. In the first case, the usual mentality is “anything you aren’t doing for the church should be done ‘off the clock’.” In the second case, the mentality is “everything you do as ministry and mission benefits us as long as your priorities are in order.”
Today’s staff meeting at Saddleback was a bit different from the norm at Saddleback Church. Pastor Tom Holladay shared from his heart 10 lessons he’s learned from watching Glen Kreun over the past twenty years of ministry.
One of the amazing aspects of the structure of Saddleback Church is that there isn’t much of an organizational chart to speak of. Some feel frustrated about this, but the reason is that people are empowered to make decisions at the lowest possible level to avoid having to climb any ladders of authority.
Get ready. I’m going to be posting about Radicalis 2011 quite a bit between now and February. Why?
Last weekend, I had the privilege of traveling across part of Texas with two associates, David Chrzan (Chief of Staff at Saddleback) and Dave Alford who is doing some preparation work for some big things to come related to church planting. I’m going to take a few days and blog some of the highlights – with whom we met and what we learned.