Featured Leadership

Work the S.Y.S.T.E.M.

There are 10 Core Principles for ministry teamwork that our church staff has adopted. These 10 have helped our staff through our most excited days and challenging setbacks. I’ve already shared the 1st and the 2nd principles in previous posts. Here I will share our 3rd – which is Work the S.Y.S.T.E.M.

1. Save Yourself Stress, Time, Energy, & Money

This is not original with me. I’ve learned these principles from a writer named Nelson Searcy. He outlines 8 church systems from an Evangelism System to Assimilation System that help the church remain focused and successful. You can read more about these systems here.

Just like any good restaurant is going to have a good POS System, Seating System, and Management System – so a church must have in place great systems. Just like any hotelier will create a system for housekeeping, a system for the front desk, and a system for maintenance – so the pastor of a church must create good systems for Worship Planning, Small Groups, & Stewardship.

 The leadership team can save so much stress, time, energy, & money if they take the time to create, manage, and live by a system.

 2. The System Works if You Work the System

One of the most dangerous things you can do in ministry is waste time. And there’s nothing that wastes time more than attempting to rewrite a system that works. This is why it is essential that you have your systems written out and annually reviewed. If the church isn’t growing numerically it means that the system is either not being worked or the system is no longer working. If the church isn’t seeing new leaders emerge from among the ranks of the increasing membership it means that the system is either not being worked or the system is no longer working. If the weekend services are dull and uninspiring it means that the system is either not being worked or the system is no longer working.

Typically, if the system is actually being worked and followed then you will see that the system will work. But what if the system is being worked but the results are not coming?

 3. Improve What is Working – Trash What is Broken

It may be time to trash the broken system. You need an assimilation system. You need one that you can physically look at and read. You need one that you can pass out to the leadership of your church. But at some point you will come to realize that your assimilation system is out of date. At this point you will have to do 1 of 2 things: improve it or trash it.

 It’s always cheaper and easier to improve what isn’t working if at all possible. This will take strategic and intentional evaluation. You will have to pick apart each step of your current system and identify the elements that aren’t working as well as the ones that once did. Sometimes you’ll only have to replace a step or two and everything will begin to work properly.

However, there are also moments when you will simply have to trash the entire system and replace it with something more suitable to your current size, structure, or culture. Some organizations are like cluttered toy boxes with tattered games and broken toys. Sentimentality combined with laziness will keep the organization from replacing that which is obviously broken.

Our calling is not an insignificant one. Our mission is not minor. If we are going to effectively reach our world with the wonderful news of the Gospel then we’d better be prepared with Systems that help us go further faster. Next week I will share Core Principle #4 – People Work over Paper Work.

Do you believe the organizational structure of the church to be important? Which of the 8 systems would you implement in a church that needed refreshing? Comment Below:

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