Series: Organized Dysfunction - Part 2
In my first post, I made the comment that "Poor tactical planning resulting in flawed ministry processes marginalizes the effectiveness of far too many churches." This of course begs the question of "What are ministry processes?"
Ministry processes are the steps taken to achieve the objectives of the ministry. This can also be described as the way we “do” church. There are processes for connecting visitors, caring for members, following up with absentees, planning events, communication and spiritual formation. It is not a question of whether or not you want
to use ministry processes, the fact is that you already use them. They are intentional or unintentional as well as either effective or ineffective.
Intentional or Unintentional:
Intentional ministry processes are the ones we design and execute according to overriding objectives. In the absence of intentional processes, we inevitably develop ad hoc processes that fill the gaps. They may "put out the fire" but they don't really solve the problem much less accomplish something great. In order to be intentional, a leader must understand the objective and consciously move in that direction.
Bottom Line: Intentional ministry processes have time-lines and goals.
Effective or Ineffective:
Obviously, if we are being intentional in our efforts, we want our processes to be effective. Unfortunately, this is not a simple thing to achieve. There are two levels of ministry process effectiveness. The first is being effective within your specific ministry context. The second is being effective in the context of overall church objectives. I want to deal with the first with effectiveness within the context of a specific ministry. Many churches are serious about following their ministry processes. Names are gathered, attendance is taken, reports are generated, letters are sent, contacts are made and meetings are held. Unfortunately, the end result does not always achieve the intended objectives. Even worse, many times success was simply impossible due to poor planning in the beginning stages.
Bottom Line: Good processes have predictable results.
Next article: Organizational Success and Ministry Silos