Friday, December 27, 2013

5 Ways to Stamp Out Drama

5 Ways to Stamp Out Drama in the Local Church: 

Let's agree and be honest that drama exists in EVERY church on SOME level. I had a leader in a meeting ask me a good question, "What do you mean when you say drama?" 
Drama (in Kevin's terms) is the stirring up of dissension and disunity among a group of Christians that are attempting to live on mission together. This could be a church, small group or ministry in the local church. 
This stirring up detracts the group from their God-given mission and destroys Christian love in the community. 
Here are 5 simple ways to keep your ministry drama free. The whole community of believers on mission need to commit to these 5 "drama busters." 
1. Everyone is an Advocate for the Defenesless. 
•Don't allow someone to talk about someone else when they aren't present to defend themselves. Refuse to have that conversation or better yet, defend the defenseless. I often point out positive qualities about the person to shut the drama queen or king up. 

2. Emotional Maturity is a must for everyone.
•Accentuate emotional maturity as a key to leadership. Don't allow people who claim to be mature act like babies. Storming off angrily, pouting, stone-walling, selfishness and being hot-headed are just a few examples. Let your leaders know that the fruit of the spirit (of a Spirit-empowered life) is a must for leaders. 

3. Identify and Qurantine Drama Machines.
•Like cancer you have to identify and quarantine these drama producing people. 
Identification can be hard though at first. Some people try to find communication points with a new person so they may complain about something in their past or open and share a bad situation currently. That's not drama. Drama is the direct attempt through stirring up dissension in the ranks of the community on mission. Identify that. Confront them. 
Next we have to quarantine them. This simply means you allow them to be a part of the life of the body without spreading the disease. Like cancer, you find it, isolate and do surgery or zap it with radiation. You want to get them out of any places where they can spread.
4. Clarity in all areas. 
•Be very clear about EVERYTHING. Quickly deal with issues in a spirit of meekness. Be clear about your mission and vision. Over communicate. 

5. Confront Issues.
•This is the hardest part. Drama doesn't just fix it self or get better. It spreads and destroys major organs. In a loving manner confront those who you see stirring dissension and strife. Let them know that, "We don't do that here. You need to talk to __________ if it is such an issue."

Don't let this live in your organization's culture. It's better to lose a few who get wrapped up in drama than spoil the whole bunch. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

4 Steps to Breaking the 200 Barrier

4 Steps to Breaking the 200 Barrier 
The hardest barrier to break in church growth is 200. The average size church in America is 87 adults. Why is this? Because the pastor can be the center of attention and all-knowing guru while the people can use him as the "go-to" person. 

We made a mad push to break the 200 barrier in fall of 2013. We were at 175. Our verbiage was to "obliterate" the 200 barrier. So, with that in mind we started deliberately teaching our leaders on the dynamics of breaking this barrier. It is not a matter of numbers but a matter if the heart. Do you really want to reach people for Christ? It's going to cause you to break your comfort zone. 
Remember: Breaking a barrier means your total adult attendance has been at that number for at least 2 months. 

4 Principles to Breaking the 200 Barrier: 
1. Break 125 
•A pastor can get to this point just by being a funny, charismatic pastor. They can do it by being relational and hosting a quality worship experience. At this point the pastor has it on his shoulders. He should connect with these first 100-125. 

2. Pastor Dethroned
•These next 3 are the hardest. You built it to 125-150 on you being the go-to guru and solving all problems. 
The easiest way to dethrone the pastor is to make a hire that splits your duties. At this point you need another pastor who focuses on assimilation, groups and management. The pastor then starts directing people to this person. He allows them to oversee and solve problems. 
Now this is a shift because up till now you have been the direct connecting point. The people and you have to shift your mind-sets. 

3. Multiple Cell 
Another characteristic of the church from 50-150 is that they do everything as a whole. There are a few affinity groups such as men, women, youth and young adults. But you are pretty much still a single cell organism. 
Action steps are creating small group environments that go beyond affinity groups. 
Another action step is to publicly confront the notion that everyone in the church must do it all together. 
We mobilized our groups to become missional in outreach. They all chose an outreach individually. 

4. Few Family Disease Cured 
A church of 50-150 have those several families/groups that run the church. They serve on the boards, ministry departments and leadership roles. 
The key to breaking this is to breaking this is to level the playing field. Spread leadership out. Raise other people up. 
We did this by elevating the status of small group leaders and ministry team representatives. Multiply leaders and raise up other voices to help bring balance. 

Your goal should be 75-125-150 and then 200. At each level you have to make cultural shifts that challenge the previous level. 
Pastors remember... You have to be willing to change, stop blaming and make these shifts first in your own life.