It allows spontaneous growth. If someone has a burden for ministry, then they can start it. We call this the “You’re It” principle. I can’t tell you how many people come to me and say, “Pastor, what the church needs is…” My job is to release and equip the saints for ministry. When people see something missing in your church, they’re often revealing their giftedness. Don’t treat it as a criticism; realize that they are revealing their passion.
In 1992, a young guy named Shane came to me and said, “This Internet thing is really going to take off, and the church isn’t doing anything about it.” He wrote a three-page, critical letter about how we weren’t getting anything done. So, I hired him. As a result, Saddleback was the first church in the world on the Internet. Instead of getting defensive, I said, “Take it. Run with it.”
Don’t go around popping bubbles all the time. I’d rather someone try and then learn that it can’t be done than for me to tell them that it can’t be done. And, it may be that they are finally the right person for the ministry that has failed in the past.
Sometimes we start ministries from sermons. One time I did a message on how we need to care for one another. I thought, “We should start calling people just to see how they’re doing.” And I said, “I’m going to start a ministry right now called ‘Care Callers.’ If you like to talk on the phone and want to go through the directory and call people up and ask for prayer requests on my behalf, then please sign up on a card.” We didn’t do any long-range planning, but we started a valuable ministry.
It promotes growth. Structure will be as creative as you allow it to be. If you allow people to expand and stretch, then you’re going to have a creative church. But if you have bureaucracy—“We’ve always done it this way”—then creative people are going to leave your church. They’ll go find a place where they’re allowed to blossom.
It allows more efficient decision-making. Have you ever seen a church waste time on a trivial decision? Often, the more trivial the decision, the more time it takes to resolve the issue. In congregational meetings in small churches, decisions are often based on the popularity of the speaker. Also, the smaller the church, the more power the most negative person has. Many churches operate by management objection. The most negative person in the church is allowed to kill an idea.
A simple structure is more stable. The more complicated a structure is, the easier it is to break. How do you simplify your structure?
• Reduce the number of meetings you have in your church.
• Reduce the number of items you vote on.
• Release ministries to make their own decisions.
• Let your budget determine your priorities. The way you spend your time and your money determines what’s important in your church.
Join us for Purpose Driven Essentials—foundational training for the Purpose Driven Church. The four-day event will focus on proven PD strategies including: defining your church’s purpose, reaching your community and building a congregation. Get equipped with the Purpose Driven model based on God’s five purposes for the church.
October 11-14, 2016
1 Saddleback Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630