How to Keep Your Church Organized

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We are continuing our discussion from last week in regards to some questions we received from Pastor Ralph in the Phillippines. We concluded our last episode with an introduction to the Six Thinking Hats, so that is where we are picking up.

The Six Thinking Hats have transformed the way we run meetings. It is a great method for not only getting ideas on the table, but for everyone to work on developing their capacity in six different ways. Here are the Six Thinking Hats:

  1. Blue Hat - Blue represents the sky, so it is the overview of everything that needs to be discussed.

  2. White Hat - White, representing paper, is all of the facts. This involves the numbers and details.

  3. Yellow Hat - Yellow is sunshine, therefore the yellow hat represents the positive reports.

  4. Black Hat - This involves all of the negative reports and comments.

  5. Green Hat - Green represents grass and fresh growth, so this part of the meeting is for brainstorming and creative ideas.

  6. Red Hat - Red is a symbol of love and anger so it is the emotional part of the meeting. It is based on the question, “How do you feel about this?”

By conducting meetings based on the Six Hats, we have found that we are able to be more productive and concise. It also gives us the ability to hear from everyone on the team.

Question 3: Do you use an Org Chart to manage your team? Other options?

Although I don’t prefer Org Charts because I feel they can be too restrictive and box people in to a certain position, we do use an Org Chart within our staff.

We use an Org Chart to clarify to our teams who is responsible for what and who everyone is to report to. Because we are one church in four locations, we had to shift from the typical pyramid style chart to a matrix style. We want our campuses to work strong individually and together.

For example, our worship leader reports directly to their campus pastor but also to the worship coach. This is a diagonal report to allow our departments to work together across all sites.

Question 4: Can you recommend methods or systems a leader can use to easily track the process to ensure no one drops the ball?

From the beginning, we have used some form of reporting system. Currently, we are utilizing Google Drive for all of our reports. We ask every employee and key volunteer to complete a report which is then submitted to their coach. Each report consists of seven to eight questions specific to each department and cover the facts we need to know.

There are two question on each report that are always the same:

  1. How are you doing personally?

  2. How are you getting along with your peers?

We want to catch problems among our teams before they arise and these questions help us keep things under control.

Question 5: Is there a book you can recommend for leaders like me who are handling a youth ministry for the first time?

I would highly recommend “Marching Off the Map” by Tim Elmore. It is not written specifically for youth pastors but for educators and coaches about the nature of the next generation and how to best connect with them.

Question 6: How does a lead pastor maintain trust with their youth leaders and buy in to the relevant changes for each new generation?

That is a loaded question, but my quick answer would be to meet regularly with your youth leaders. Listen to what they have to say and seek to meet their needs in expanding their reach.

There seems to be a disconnect between the youth ministry and the church which I don’t think is right. As the lead pastors, we need to reach out and make relationship a priority. You can fight them or you can fund them.

For youth leaders, reach out to your senior pastor and pursue a relationship with them. Talk well of them. Regularly tell your youth who their pastor is; it’s not you, it’s the senior pastor of their church. If their pastor is you, they will be left without a pastor after they graduate from high school and will drift away from the church. If their pastor is the pastor of the church and you continually point them to him, the youth will continue to plug into the church after they move on from the youth group.

If we only reach one generation, our churches will die with us. The vision must reach beyond us. The movement we are a part of is more important than the part we play. Therefore, we must be intentional in reaching every generation, especially the younger ones so that the church will continue long after we are gone.

If each generation was purposed to do that, the church could build on the shoulders of the generation before them and wouldn’t have to start all over again on their own. Imagine, if each could do that! We could change the world! And we are meant to change the world because the church is the hope of the world, and we've been given a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

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