As you grow from a small church to a big church, it is important that your church moves from an auditory culture to a written culture. I suggest putting together a playbook so everyone gets and stays on the same page.
Small churches stay small because everything is done by a few people who have a way how they like to get things done. No one can take over because no one knows what Mrs Smith and Mr Jones does – and how they do it. If those individuals are on vacation then things don’t get done.
In order for you to grow your team of volunteers and leaders it is important to begin to write down what you do and how you do it. Here are a few reasons why this is important.
Clarity – When things are written down, it creates alignment across the team. Expectations are understood and met from the beginning. How can a person know what you want and how you want things done unless you write it out?
Teamwork – Everyone knows what needs to be done and how they fit into the overall picture. This allows new team members to get involved and up to speed quickly. It also allows for annual changes to improve using suggestions from team members on the ground.
Simplification – As soon as you write things down you can become as general or as detailed as you would like. The temptation is to create a culture of excellence and be detailed about everything. Writing things out causes you to measure your expectations against reality. It causes you to think through what you are doing, what is necessary, and what isn’t.
So What Do I Do?
1. Start with a Playbook
The key to building a playbook is to ensure that you have enough information so everyone on the team knows who, what, where, and how. If vision operates at 30,000 feet and an ISO9001 process book operates at ground level, a playbook needs to operate at 10,000 feet. It is not too detailed but it is not too vague. It help bridge the gap between the dreamers on your team with the doers on your team.
We often help our clients build their playbook so that everyone gets on the same page. If you need help, feel free to contact us.
2. Build Meaningful Metrics
Define for your team members what success looks like for the team and for them individually. General definitions get general results. Your metrics need to make sense theologically and practically. Don’t put the pressure on your team to do what only God can do. Don’t put pressure on your staff to be your church’s messiah if you don’t have yourself in order. Metrics need to connect to every other ministry in the church. Think of a chain and each link having a specific purpose as a part of that chain. Here’s an example. Great metrics for a children’s leader is to have a number of volunteers each year relative to the size of the congregation and to actively be involved in certain habits each week (call 3 families, pray for each child, etc).
3. Create Regular Follow Up
The power of execution always lays in accountability. I have found that plans succeed because we regularly follow up with team members to see how they are doing on a monthly basis. These meetings need to be about what they have done well, areas that they need to work on, and things they need to have accomplished for the next time you meet. Regular meetings with staff creates a culture of accountability when it comes to yearly reports and creates overall momentum as a team. It also exposes those who need to move on for lack of performance.