As I’m beginning my first month at my new church as Lead Pastor, West Park Church in London, Ontario, I’m in a big learning curve. I not only need to understand a new church culture, but a new country culture as well. So, I’m developing what I’m calling my six month on-boarding plan to best discern what needs to be done.
A book that’s really helped me create my plan and one that I recommend for pastors transitioning to a new church is, The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter by Michael D. Watkins. He also has an iPhone app as well. The book is a must read. He suggests that before you implement a change, you must make sure you have these five supporting planks in place.
- Awareness. A critical mass of people is aware of the need for change.
- Diagnosis. You know what needs to be changed and why.
- Vision. You have a compelling vision and a solid strategy.
- Plan. You have the expertise to put together a detailed plan.
- Support. You have sufficiently powerful alliances to support implementation.
So the next time you plan a new ministry initiate, consider these pillars.
What other pillars would you add?
Reference: Watkins, Michael D. (2013-04-23). The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter (Kindle Locations 1711-1715). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition
Trust: “the belief that someone is reliable, good, honest or effective (Merriam-Webster).” Healthy ministry teams make trust building a priority. Patrick Lencioni, one of today’s best writers on leadership believes that absence of trust is the biggest problem among dysfunctional teams (see his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team). Stephen M. R. Covey wrote an entire book that shows how teams can build trust called The Speed of Trust. So, how do you know if your team has a deficit?
Honestly answer these questions to gauge the trust deficit in your team.
- Does a spirit of suspicion lurk in team members’ minds?
- Do team members overly rely on email in lieu of talking?
- Do team members often wear facades?
- Is there too much “happy talk” which masks true problems?
- Are team members reluctant to share their honest feelings and opinions?
- Do team members resist meeting together?
- Has the team lost enthusiasm?
- Has grumbling and complaining become the norm?
- Is the leader inconsistent?
- Do some team members intentionally withhold information from others?
How did you do? If you answered yes to more than one or two questions, your team may be facing a trust deficit.
So how do you rebuild trust?
In my next blog I will suggest a few ideas. But here’s what I suggest as a first step. Get the book The Speed of Trust for you and your team and read it. It’s a great read. Here’s a summary of the book to get you started.
What other behaviors have you seen that may indicate lack of trust in a team?
One way to grow your emotional intelligence, a crucial trait for successful leaders, comes by reading broadly. One of the best leadership bloggers today and my friend, Dan Black, just released his new book, The Leadership Mandate. He is offering readers of my blog an extended chance to receive 6 special bonuses (valuing over $85) when they purchase his book and forward the Amazon receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Be sure to include the word “Mandate” into the forwarded email.) You can see the bonuses by clicking here. You can purchase the book through Amazon by clicking here.
Dan truly understands leadership and you’ll love this book (and grow your emotional intelligence). To get a taste of his writing, I’ve posted one of his blog posts here about emotional intelligence.
Zombies are big today. Big budget movies, popular TV shows, commercials, and even zombie action figures have invaded our culture. Even before they became popular, when someone said, ‘I feel like a zombie,” we knew what they meant… they felt exhausted, lifeless, listless, and were simply going through the motions.
photo purchased through Deposit Photos
As a pastor for over 30 years, at times I’ve felt like a zombie pastor. Ministry stress, disappointments, and pressure sometimes seemed to sap my soul of life, energy, and joy.
So how do you know if you are a zombie pastor? Take the Pastor Zombie Zone Quiz. (Tweet this quote here)
In a recent article I wrote for Churchleaders.com, 8 Surprising Insights from a Former Pastor, I shared 8 key insights I’ve learned during the last 18 months as a former pastor.
I’ve served 32 years in vocational ministry and took off the past 18 months to write, coach pastors, travel, and begin another master’s degree.
The Churchleaders.com article prompted many comments and one pastor emailed me to specifically ask about this point I made in the article.
Churches must plan and deliver a compelling, Spirit-filled worship service and sermon each Sunday. I’ve known this intellectually, but now since I’m on the receiving end I see even more its importance. If someone takes three hours out of their day of rest to attend church, they better feel that it was worth their time.
Having visited several churches during the past year and then joining one as a non-staff member, here’s what I believe can help make a compelling worship service that would encourage people to want to come back.