This week, we continue to explore the three key elements of getting your church to the “next level” by looking at the second critical component–Organization.
Organization asks the question, “Who is falling through the cracks?” The question seeks to explore what we are losing track of because your level of organization will ultimately determine how much you can manage.
For example, if you hold a very effective outreach, but in your organizational effort, you fail to plan for follow-up or fail to get the names of those you have contacted, your results will be more difficult to preserve than if you had such information and planning. If you have a way to collect guest names from Sunday, you are far more likely to keep them attending. Failures in organization will cause slow leaks in your ministry efforts.
At the same time, good organizational principles open the door for your ministry to grow. Most growing churches have established effective organizational systems to manage their people and ministries. if they haven’t, their growth cannot be sustained for long.
Jesus described a true shepherd as one who would “leave the ninety-nine” to go search for one lost lamb. That implies remarkable organization, as the shepherd would have to keep track of each lamb to even realize one is missing. Frankly, in most churches, someone could be absent for two months before leaders realize we haven’t seen them in awhile.
Now, you don’t have to be organized to attract a lot of people to your church. You can prioritize excellence and draw them in with the quality and excitement of everything you do. But, to maintain that high level, you’ll need to keep climbing the excellence ladder–higher every week–and that’s not easy, or truly the idea of ministry.
But, like excellence, good organization can get out of balance. Organizing people doesn’t replace ministering to them any more than the disciples’ effort to sit the people in groups of 50-100 would feed them. They still needed the miracle that Jesus provided with those loaves and fish.
If you want to get to the next level, talk to leaders who are already at that level and learn from their organizational methods. There are numerous conferences that offer such insights, but be sure you’re learning from those at the next level, and not those several levels beyond your current goal. Our organization efforts can only grow as fast as our available resources, so a church of 200 will typically find the organizational strategies of a megachurch to be a bit out of reach (and probably not needed yet).
An ever-growing effort of organization is critical to reaching the next level of effectiveness. And, alongside Excellence, you now have 2/3 of the puzzle pieces in your hands, but the third piece is yet to come–and it’s the most essential part. Next week, we’ll tackle this most important element as we conclude our series Getting to the Next Level.