Shortly after Rich assumed the pastorate at St. Andrew’s, I reflected on a dynamic interplay I observed in his leadership, between two different kinds of “wins.”
Some things that a new pastor does naturally relate to felt needs of the church. Other things are more significant changes that will eventually shape the church’s culture. Both are real wins but how they happen and how they feel are very different. Great leaders use them together to maximize positive change.
For example, not long into his assignment, Rich changed both the service times and the worship strategy. (There had been no change for 30 years.) In the first 7 weeks after the change, the new strategy, coupled with his energy and preaching talent realized a 30% increase in weekend attendance. This dramatic change met a huge felt need (given the congregation’s mildly declining attendance) by providing hope for their future.
But Rich took on two other projects in the short term. First, he refused to move into the generous square footage of the previous pastor’s office, in favor of creating a more efficient, inviting and collaborative space. Second, he partnered with Auxano to navigate a team down the Vision Pathway. Even though the team had completed some strong strategic planning work, the language was not robust or specific enough to shape culture. Both of these initiatives required extra effort because they were completely off the felt need radar.
Clearly, Rich is leveraging wins that meet felt needs for wins that guide a new future.
- How are you balancing felt-need wins with culture-shaping wins?
- Are you looking for and creating both kinds?
- Are you trying to do too many culture-shaping wins at the expense of felt needs?
- Are you only focusing on only felt needs, neglecting to challenge the status quo?
As you review these questions consider the differences:
> Wins that meet felt needs DO
- Bring immediate satisfaction to individuals
- Build immediate credibility for the leader (more chips in the bank)
- Create a positive atmosphere
- Change the expectations of people
- Automatically align with the vision
- Reflect the most pressing real needs
> Wins that shape culture DO
- Introduce a new way of thinking
- Align people, tools, and process toward a clear vision
- Create long term value
- Feel good at first
- Build credibility immediately
- Happen without dialogue and pushback
Rich will be bringing the same wisdom and balance displayed above to the Vision co::Lab.
Our co::Labs are co:ntinuous and co:laborative communities where 8 churches come together (4 people per church) to walk the Vision Pathway. We meet six times, one time per month, for four hours of training on topics like:
Reading the culture of your community
Assessing your congregation’s strengths
Rallying people to a common cause
Shaping a church’s internal culture
Leading a vision process
Releasing the church for community impact
Radically simplifying the mechanics of church
Of course you will get the standard deliverables and toolkit that come with every Church Unique Vision co::Lab. And, I will be joining Rich for several sessions.
To learn more about this incredible coaching opportunity, click here to get the dates, cost and further details.