By Kristine Blaess
Part of what makes leading a church so dynamic and exciting is that, within our ministries, we lead at least three different sorts of organizations. Each one comes with its own needs and its own gifts. Leading is a lot like dancing or conducting an orchestra, where joy is found in many people and many activities working together for one great purpose.
So how do we discern if the dance is going well and if the orchestra is making music? These are questions that my church’s team is asking of ourselves as we review the year that has passed. What are the questions you all are pondering?
Keeping First Things First
As the church, are we doing what God calls us to do?
- Are we proclaiming Jesus Christ, crucified and risen? We are called to help people meet Jesus, not as cold doctrine, but through a living relationship.
- Are we forming people into the body of Christ? This is the mission Jesus gives his Church: Make disciples by going, baptizing, and teaching (Matt. 28).
- Are we mobilizing disciples into their Christian vocations? This is the life of ministry and service.
As a family, are we healthy and growing?
- In our relationships, are we growing in our capacity for connection, forthrightness, flexibility, and freedom? Are we practicing forgiveness and hospitality?
As a non-profit organization, are we sound, and are we building capacity?
- Do we have a clear vision?
- Are we raising up new leaders?
- Do we have a compelling story? And are we telling it?
- Are we identifying our bottlenecks for growth and developing strategies to address them?
- Are we developing excellence in our practices?
- How is participation?
- How are our finances?
As we reflect on the year that has past, keeping in mind these “organizational types” and questions can help us discern where God is inviting us to focus on the coming year.
The Rev. Dr. Kristine Blaess is rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn.