Leadership Skill: Organization

To effectively provide organization to the church, leaders must understand that the church is a living organism. Without a grasp on that reality, organization could be done . . .
  • for the wrong purposes ... simply to maintain smooth running programs.
  • with the wrong effect ... bureaucracy in the church.
     

The Purpose of Organization

Organization is not about putting so much structure into your activities that getting anything accomplished requires a complex process. Rather, it should be facilitating growth and expression while at the same time coordinating it with the whole. Without a degree of flexibility, you cannot make quick adjustments as needed. Flexibility, without organization, however, yields chaos and everybody doing what is right in their own eyes which often leads the perception of a church that is floundering, not seeming to really be going anywhere.
 
The Church, as a living organism, does have structure but also a responsiveness. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
 
The Church, as a living organism, should maintain a sense of stability and constancy while being responsive. (Ephesians 4:14)
 
Church Leaders:
  • Are you finding this balance?
  • How can you simplify the process without losing the purpose for which organization exists?

Organization is not an end in itself but rather a means or a vehicle to clarify responsibilities and relationships in order to accomplish a greater good. Without an effective means of reaching your goals that has a place for everyone yet also a level of accountability to the whole, you could find neglect of some needs and duplication in other areas, along with confusion and frustration, and hence failure to accomplish your goals.
 
The Church, as a living organism, has members designed to function in specific ways but also a sense of coordination and interdependence. (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:21, 26)
 
Church Leaders:
  • Are you keeping an eye on the particulars as well as the big picture?
  • How can you improve ministry descriptions in ways that more clearly convey responsibilities, parameters, and communication channels that stress coordination with the whole yet do not box in individuals' pursuit of their passions and sense of calling?
     

The Effect of Organization

Organization is not about building programs and structures but determining how to best meet the needs of people and glorify God. Without thought given to the effect of your structures, you could quickly move into irrelevancy and merely be oiling organizational machinery. You group a certain way because it is best. You arrange schedules and programs a certain way because it is effective. You coordinate the way people relate and serve alongside one another because it makes a difference.
 
The Church, as a living organism, must be interactive with its environment, both influencing it and being aware of it. (Matthew 5:13; Acts 1:8)
 
Church Leaders:
  • Are you organizing to perpetuate the way you've always done things or to truly serve?
  • What can you do to better implement ministry assessments, purposeful observation, and meaningful input from people you serve to be in a constant state of awareness of needs and adjustments needed?

Organization is not a substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit. We rely on God, not on our structures, praying at every turn, to accomplish change and growth in the Body. Without the wisdom and power flow of the Spirit, you have little more than an institution of man-made structures that would stay the same with or without His presence.
 
The Church, as a living organism, requires the intake of proper nutrients and care to stay healthy, sustain itself, and grow. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
 
Church Leaders:
  • Are you stopping long enough to ask God how to organize what He wants you to do?
  • What measures can you put in place to make sure you are trusting in the Lord and not leaning on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6)?

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