Home Pastors Articles for Pastors Jenni Catron: Throw Out the Rule Book

Jenni Catron: Throw Out the Rule Book

By title, I am the rule maker and the rule keeper. It’s kind of a given as the Executive Director of an organization.

But guess what?

I hate rules, policies, & most procedures. 

Most of the time, they are a necessary evil. On a few occasions, they are necessary. On most occasions, they’re evil.

Why do I hate them? 

Rules, policies, & most procedures are the easy way out. They’re a scapegoat for true leadership.

Policies are usually a reactionary fix to an issue you’d rather avoid. Oftentimes, we create a policy when we want to avoid a tough conversation. Rather than address the specific person and the issue, we create a policy to hide behind.

However, there are occasions where some parameters need to be established. I like to call these filters.

Here’s how I define the difference:

Policies are blankets. 

They don’t account for nuances or growth. They leave little room for conversation or flexibility.

Filters are “if this, then that” parameters

that lead to sound decision-making based upon values or agreed upon standards. Filters also increase accountability because they force discussion.

At Cross Point, we’ve created filters for things like:

  • Continued education and development. Staff are encouraged to find ways to continue their personal development via books, conferences, etc. They are given a few guidelines and budgets, but each staff person and their manager determine the best course of learning for them each year.
  • Sunday staff schedules.  Based upon their role and responsibility, we determine their work schedule for Sunday. Some staff have greater responsibilities than others for Sunday services, and we adjust their workweek to make the best use of their time and contribution.

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jennicatron@churchleaders.com'
A self-proclaimed “leadership junkie,” Jenni spends her days serving the local church. Most recently she served for nine years as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, where she led the staff and oversaw the ministry of its five campuses. Jenni is the founder of Cultivate Her. She loves great books, the perfect cup of tea, playing a game of tennis with her husband and hanging with her dog Mick.