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The RIGHT people using the RIGHT tools in the RIGHT way at the RIGHT time for all the RIGHT reasons.
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I began ChurchLead in 2002 to provide consulting and information to church leaders to help them become more effective in achieving their mission. Most church leaders know what they want to accomplish, but they often need some help to successfully navigate the waters with so many competing technology tools and systems.

The methods have changed over the past few years, but the essence of the original mission remains the same. To help leaders use the right technology, at the right time, in the right way, to accomplish their mission. 

- Rob Overton

Recent Articles 
Thursday, July 08 2010
Ministry Silos: Good or Bad?
I am amazed at how many churches spend a lot of time defining their Mission, Vision and Goals without ever ensuring that the practical plans of the various ministries lead to success. The cumulative effect of all of the ministry processes should logically result in the accomplishment of the mission and vision of the church. I feel it necessary to point out that I do realize that if God does not show up, all of the plans are meaningless.   But I also think that it is poor stewardship to allow the plans to be an obstacle to ministry!  Unfortunately, certain ministry processes are sometimes in conflict with processes of other ministries, and even those not in direct conflict are seldom designed to work in concert together. The result is a series of ministry silos which operate independently of one another.

Much has been written about ministry silos and how they should be avoided, but this is easier said than done. The fact is, there needs to be some division of labor and focus in order for the ministries to be effective. Compounding the situation, ministries are led in many cases by lay people who are volunteering their time and talents. The combination of the need for specialization and the need for lay leadership naturally moves toward a “church within a church” situation. I believe that the proper function and operation of the silos makes all the difference.

Managing Silos
Since silos are a natural occurrence, care must be taken to prevent them from resulting in isolated and underachieving ministries. It is critically important to create tactical plans designed to foster continuity and to keep information flowing between ministries. There are several key areas of understanding required in order to create effective plans.
  • Each ministry needs to understand their impact on other ministries as well as the ones on which they are dependent.
  • Each ministry needs to have a good grasp on how families connect and move through the church, and how their particular ministry facilitates the movement.
  • Each ministry needs to understand their role in the church’s master plan as defined in their mission/vision statement. Ministry leaders, both staff and volunteer, need such perspective, but they seldom have it.
Proper understanding and appreciation of ministry silos is necessary to avoid the pitfalls.  Properly managed, they can help produce dynamic and thriving ministries.  Managed poorly, they will result in a collection of disparate ministries with little cohesion and uncertain direction.
Posted by: Rob Overton AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 21 2010
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
Posted by: Rob Overton AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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