Will Mancini is founder of Auxano (auxano.com), a small band of coaches who work to help the church grow by gaining ministry clarity.

Systems are important for church growth

The first priority is clarity – clarifying what you want to do. Systems aren’t exciting. Systems themselves don’t cause growth, but without the right systems, growth will be limited. Once you clarify what God wants you to do, create repeatable processes that help you get there. Churches may have great passion but hit the growth ceiling because growth requires new systems.

Systems should change as churches grow

The classic benchmark for change is that for every 40% in growth, a ministry needs to restructure. But that number accelerates with the pace of change in society. It’s helpful to churches to think of themselves in a constant revision mode.

Internal communication is important

It’s important for leaders to communicate well to keep their teams on target. Words create worlds. Spend time processing together what are the few most important words and phrases that drive the organization. In churches, communication suffers because we get too busy. Or our words don’t have depth because they were borrowed from someone else’s model. Bill Hybels says that “language matters.” Leaders need to spend time to come up with those few key words (or sets of words) that allow them to lead with clarity.

How leaders get beyond ideas to action

Church leaders are addicted to product, but it’s process that gives meaning. It’s not common for leaders to slow down enough to engage process. They get on the ministry treadmill. They fall into something that has worked before. They let most urgent needs dictate the direction. All of these factors work against envisioning well. It’s hard to slow down and do the non-urgent work of creating and implementing vision.

Clarity changes everything

Pastors need to take time to push through to clarity. Take a day a month to slow down and find that meaningful place from which to lead.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. State the mission of your church. How clear is it to you? How clear is it to your church?
  4. How do you communicate vision to your leaders? To the congregation? Explain your language (words) and your methodology.
  5. “We are addicted to product, but it’s process that gives meaning.” Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
  6. How can you improve in the area of clarity for your church?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.