The ministry whirlwind is a reality. Priorities can shift in a matter of moments when serving people in church ministry. The seasons can fly by and it’s not uncommon for the mission to become swamped or at very least, fuzzy. There are lots of good people serving faithfully each day but may not see the full fruit of their labor.
Getting past the effects of the whirlwind requires big expectations. However, when a leader sets an expectation, it’s only the first step. The next phase is to inspect. You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
I got this concept from a little book called, How To Become A Great Boss by Jeffrey Fox.
There are ways to inspect what your leaders are doing and it doesn’t have to feel like an interrogation or a spy operation.
It’s more like simple reminders of the priorities. Here are five ways you can inspect:
How’s the big goal coming? Where are we at on the new orders? How are you coming with the project we talked about? Do you have everything you need to complete the assignment? I have on my calendar that we are about halfway to the big day, can we set up a time to check signals?
Questions like these can happen anywhere and can be kind reminders of the most important things on the agenda. It’s also a reminder of the mission and what the leader thinks is most important.
Though it’s simple, it’s not always easy. The leader must truly know what is most important and have his or her own schedule aligned with enough space to not only do critical work but collaborate with and coach his or her employees and team members as they march toward the main objectives together.
Meetings are critical ways to both set expectations and inspect the work. Be sure to use meeting times wisely and sparingly. Be sure you spend time meeting with your best folks for strategy and missional questions and limit the time you meet about problems and issues. Be disciplined in meetings – but don’t be afraid of them. Meetings fuel action. Meetings can help keep people on task and heading in the right direction together.
Setting goals is part of the process for knowing what is expected. This is done on several levels – the goals for the organization, the goals of the team and the goals of the individual. Leaders must invest time in helping each person in the organization understand how his or her roles supports the overall process.
Quality feedback is becoming a lost art, but it must be done. Feedback is best when it’s specific, immediate, and loving. It’s done with the best intention for the organization and the employee in mind. Build in a culture of willigness to receive feedback even before the feedback is needed. This will help make frank words come off as a team effort and not such scary and isolated events.
This idea of Lead Measures was a great little gem from the book the 4 Disciplines of Execution. Instead of waiting until the end to see if you hit the goal, check in with smaller goals more often. For example, if you want to have 20 new people serving on your team by the end of the year, then it going to personally require inviting 2 new people each week. You can check in each month to see how many people you have invited. If you haven’t met those goals, there’s a good chance you won’t hit the big goal. Lead measures help you see an adjust along the way. [how lead measures can help every pastor}
You must expect something. But without inspecting, you won’ t get very far.
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