In this rapidly-changing world, churches have been forced to assess how we do ministry, and pastors must practice agile leadership.
By Todd Adkins
In the past, a leader may have led one or two major changes throughout his or her career. Now, major changes happen every five to 10 years, if not more often. This is the lot we have been given as leaders.
Two things are happening: Change in the world is increasing while there is ever-increasing access to information, data, and expert opinions. Many leaders feel like they need a degree in chaos theory to move forward. Never have we had a greater need to implement change. And never have we had so many tools at our disposal to do so. But I am afraid this access has led to greater confusion, fear, undermining, and doubt in the way we lead.
This is not something we can get away from, because leading in the church will mean leading change.
Leading change in any organization is both an art and a science and requires us to be agile leaders. We tend to overemphasize the science part and rely on superior planning, but that is only half of the equation. As Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”“Leading change in any organization is both an art and a science and requires us to be agile leaders.” — @ToddAdkins Click To Tweet
The other half of the equation is the art of leading people. You may need to adjust your plan to align with your unwavering purpose as a church: the gospel. Of course, planning is critical. But if you can’t lead people, then you can’t lead well in an ever-changing world.
In this rapidly-changing world, churches must assess how we do ministry. What was once considered a normal ministry practice has likely adapted or changed altogether.
7 steps to agile leadership
With these ever-changing dynamics in mind, here is a step-by-step guide to leading effective change and becoming a more agile leader. In doing so, you are better prepared to adapt to whatever unforeseen circumstances you may encounter in your church’s ministry. And you can utilize these steps over and over again in your ministry.
The most utilized change management process ever written was by John Kotter in “Leading Change.” Based on Kotter’s original eight steps, the following steps are adapted to help your church remain agile in the seasons to come.
Step 1: What matters now?
What is most essential to your church, and how do you carry it out?
Step 2: Ready your team
You need people with authority, influence, and the right skill sets to remain agile as you adjust and adapt in ministry.
Step 3: Cast vision and strategy
You must cast vision and strategy to show how this agility and adaptability will be the best course of action for your church.
Step 4: Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication should be clear, concise, and genuinely from the heart.
Step 5: Re-allocate resources
You must consider what to stop, shift, strategize, and scale in your ministry.
Step 6: Create wins
A flywheel is difficult to start turning, but, once moving, its momentum keeps it going forward and gets easier to move the faster it goes.
Step 7: Remain agile
Change is transformation that helps you remain agile and best meet the needs of your church and ministry in an increasingly changing world.“Change is transformation that helps you remain agile and best meet the needs of your church and ministry in an increasingly changing world.” — @ToddAdkins Click To Tweet
Agile leadership is not a one-and-done thing. But becoming more agile as a leader in your church will help you best propel your church and your ministry forward in gospel impact.
For permission to republish this article, contact Marissa Postell Sullivan.
This article was originally published on Ministry Grid.
To help you lead change in your church or ministry, Lifeway Leadership has created a FREE course on Leading Rapid Change: 7 Steps to Agile Leadership in your church. Click here to get started.