“You cannot lead a strong organization without extraordinary clarity.” A. Stanley
As church leaders, we are bombarded with “have tos”, “how tos” and “must dos”. There’s no way we can do everything. That’s why clarity is so important.
Take heart – You don’t need to do extraordinary things. You need to do ordinary things extraordinarily well!
Clarity frees us from ambiguity. Clarity relieves the stress of not knowing. Clarity allows us to focus our energy on what really matters to our lives and the organizations we lead.
Here are seven reasons clarity is essential for church leaders:
1) Clarity keeps the leadership motivated and in step with each other.
Without clarity, it’s difficult for the team to work together toward a common mission. Volunteer teams are motivated through relationships, end goals, personal desires, and successes. Whether team members are paid or volunteer, clarity around their roles are crucial if they are going to stick around to see the end result. Church staff teams need to ask these questions to add clarity to their work together: “What does a win look like?” “What is our definition of success as we work together?” “What are we trying to accomplish?”
2) Clarity allows tough decisions to be made and more easily swallowed.
Tough decisions are never easy. Asking volunteers to step down, firing an ineffective team member or church staff member, or changing a long-established program in a church can be so life draining that pastors may avoid it. But when clarity comes into the picture, decisions can be made more swiftly, with greater authority and be more easily accepted.
3) Clarity often helps the next step to become obvious.
If you are struggling to figure out the next step, back up a few notches in the process and determine the “why” behind it all. For example, knowing what you are trying to accomplish when building staff helps to unveil the roles you need. Prayer and asking questions are essential in this process. Often, as you continue to re-frame the questions, they eventually become the key to the right answer.
4) Clarity helps your organization stay on track with the mission.
Here’s a fun exercise: Have the boss write down the top five things she feels each staff member should be doing every week. Have the staff write down the top five things they feel are their priorities each week. Then compare the lists. Unless there is clarity in the role, these lists will be quite different.
5) Clarity allows everyone on your team to know who is responsible for what.
Often, when things go wrong, you discover that no one was ultimately in charge. Or, the person in charge didn’t know he/she was in charge. Clarity allows for all team members to know their responsibilities.
6) Clarity creates a vision for the outcome that is evident to all.
When a vision is presented and articulated well, the end product and outcome is evident to all involved. Everyone is able to jump on board with a clear vision.
7) Clarity allows you to have a simple, nimble, and effective structure.
Clarity affords your church the opportunity to make changes as needed. If you know what you expect to happen and the current structure isn’t supporting the end result, changes need to be made quickly.