The first skill is that of empowering others. They know how to spot, raise up, disciple, coach and mentor others into the mission of God. The second skill deals with sustaining those relationships..The third skill revolves around getting groups of people doing mission together. The fourth skill is turning values into functioning systems.
4. Designing & developing healthy church systems.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." Then, "whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27-28 NIV). The image of contending means striving together or fighting side by side as in an athletic contest or team sport. I personally like the term 'synergy' which is defined as "the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects" (American Heritage College Dictionary). Missional leaders know how to build synergy throughout their church, aligning all the individual pieces to work together for a greater outcome. This is accomplished through their understanding of functional church systems or structures.
What are church systems? Church Systems are reproducible processes by which the church actualizes its values and achieves its mission. Missional leaders know how to design these systems, to create processes that are manageable and measurable. Not only do they know how to designed them but they also know how to development and tweak them all the way without losing momentum. Michael Gerber wrote, "Systems run the business and people run the systems." Missional leaders understand that healthy systems are only as good as the people who are running them and that time, energy and resources need to be invested in these leaders who are running these systems that are critical to fulfilling God's mission.
Questions for Reflection:
- Is it easier for you to do ministry or develop a process for others to do ministry?
- Do you have a special time of the week where you think about process and systems?
- Do you have lay leaders or staff who have a systems orientation?
- How could you use others to help you in designing the critical systems needed to take your ministry to the next level?
- Which of your key eights system needs the most attention right now?
- Inspiring Worship Services
- Spiritual Formation (assimilation)
- Leadership Development
- Small Groups
- Ministry Placement
- Relational Health
Excerpt from NextSteps for Leading a Missional Church