I am a pretty lucky guy because I get to live out my passion and make an intentional difference. I spend much of my time working with leaders across the U.S. to help them assess their vision, leadership and organization. I get to deposit into church leaders, helping them to transform a church into all it can be. I have also served in various capacities in the local church in my 20-plus years of ministry. I know firsthand the leadership challenges facing the 21st-century leaders.
I hear many church leaders say they have a clear vision for their church. But my experience shows that often the senior pastor may have the vision, but the staff and congregation haven’t fully engaged with it. Or possibly the ministries and allocation of resources aren’t aligned with what the vision of the church is. And when there isn’t alignment in the vision/leadership, culture, ministry and facilities, it means missed opportunities in what God has called us to do.
Here are four key areas every church leader should consider:
- Code—Examining beyond just the culture of your local church, there is a code that exists that must be understood and honored. The work of alignment involves understanding our code and recognizing how we build from that awareness. We cannot move forward until we know what shapes and grounds us—that is our Code!
- Leadership—Comes from understanding your code, and further recognizing how to honor or preserve the core while at the same time motivating people to move forward into their desired future. Leaders define reality but also seek to move people forward into what awaits. Leaders connect and mobilize people within their unique combination toward the picture that God is painting for the church. Leaders create the crucible whereby transformational change shapes and prepares us to take the next step toward God’s vision for the church.
- Vision—The picture God is painting for your church. Vision is born out of our Code, established and articulated by leaders and carried out by every part of your community of faith. Since the beginning of time, we have been guided by vision, a picture of what things will look like when we accomplish what God has set out for us to accomplish. Vision paints our desired future, without it we are lost, disengaged and disconnected. The church cannot thrive on code awareness, good leadership and resources alone!
- Good stewardship of your gifts/talents—Each individual is uniquely crafted and made to intentionally live out their difference. From code, the bedrock that defines the foundation, to leadership, to realizing the vision, God uses the Body of Christ, each in their difference, to make a more of a difference. The question is, “Are we intentionally utilizing the resources entrusted to us by God to realize the new reality God is painting in our community?” Are we honoring what God has provided and who we are made to become to make more of a difference in this world, rather than more of the same?
It’s a worthwhile conversation. What are some of the vision and leadership issues that keep you up at night?
Shane Roberson is Vice President of Client services at TAG Consulting. His passion is cultural architecture, helping individuals, groups and organizations to cultivate an intentional organizational ethos that will provide the frame for their success. He comes alongside individuals, teams, and organizations to leverage their talents and make an impact on the organization. Shane is a gifted facilitator, executive coach and keen observer of organizational dynamics.