If I were to ask you what the primary role of a church leader might be, what would say?
If I told you that it was to establish clarity of direction in the Big Foundational things that give the organization identity and a unique purpose, would you agree?
If Churches would be led in a way that holds the standard, within the parameters of the Big Foundational Things… leaving room for nuance and personality and context in the things that are not non-negotiable… A culture would build that allows people to find their place within the mission of God. It breeds “SIMPLE”…it breeds clarity…it breeds involvement and engagement and leaves room for the varied grace of God’s people to be unleashed within the mission of the church.
Sounds like a church on mission right, am I right?
In this episode, I talk with Chad Merrell, the Lead Pastor at North Rock Hill Church. Two years ago. Chad moved his family to North Rock Hill in South Carolina to take on the role of the lead pastor and since then has been establishing clarity
Chad shares with me a process he used to help his staff cultivate clarity and then collaboratively together, to implement a new language within their congregation that now drives all of their ministry decisions.
Whether you are a church of 25 or 2500, I think this episode with challenge and encourage you and give you some practical steps to get started on the journey that Chad is two years in.
We talk about why this process matters and in the show notes I share with you several resources we talk about, his team used, to implement these ideas.
- There is a void of true strategic leadership in churches in general, especially in churches with under 1000 ave attendance… Great pastors, great heart, obedient, faithful to the word of God and the people of God, but not strategic and not always good at managing/leading organizationally. - One of the great “holes” in seminary education and conventional paths to Sr Leadership in the church is that there is much investment in Biblical education and Preaching skills and Theological training (rightly so)…but little to no equipping for the role of leader of teams, leader of the organization, etc.
- Once a church grows over 100-125 people, there is a necessary shift that a leader has to make. To become a leader of leaders. And to do so, he has to be able to facilitate or lead the process of establishing clarity for others to lead within.
- One of the greatest “misses” in the organization of the local church is a lack of clarity around what Chad calls the Big Foundational Rocks. Clarity often drifts or is lost when there is a change of leadership. Local churches are often led by personality, by an individual, sometimes even a strategy…but the kind of clarity Chad is referring to is rooted in the Culture of the organization, not the leader.
Chad believes that the Leader’s primary role is to establish Clarity of direction in the Big Foundational things… the DNA type things…The things that give the organization identity and a unique purpose. So that, those who lead alongside, or lead others while under the leadership, have extreme clarity in the big things that have already been decided (or discovered), clarity in how they are to then make decisions, clarity in which direction their decisions should lead towards, and clarity of pace and process and scope of their leadership.
- If the Big Rocks are set in as foundational…then the teams and leaders can have extreme ownership of the vision/mission/values…or self selects out.
When it comes to the Big Foundational DNA type things like vision/mission/values there is no room for negotiation, they are set…Like Mickey’s Hand at Disneyworld. The measures, the standards, the goals, the values, the direction are all set. No one should be frustrated by being told “no” if they do something or request permission for something outside the set in stone foundational things. And no one should be surprised at the conte