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Church Growth and Change: The Only Place and Time Your Job Won’t Be Changing

In January Elon Musk sent an email to employees letting them know of the challenging days ahead for Tesla. In the midst of a year in which they “made their first meaningful profit in the 15 years since they created Tesla,” they would be (a) laying off 7 percent of their workforce and (b) increasing production because “there isn’t any other way.” Musk appealed to the vision of clean energy when he candidly admitted that Tesla would not be able to offer work-life balance.

“There are many companies that can offer a better work-life balance, because they are larger and more mature or in industries that are not so voraciously competitive. Attempting to build affordable clean energy products at scale necessarily requires extreme effort and relentless creativity, but succeeding in our mission is essential to ensure that the future is good, so we must do everything we can to advance the cause.”

You have to appreciate Elon Musk’s passion and consistent commitment to a vision. He also is honest about that vision requiring more production with less people—which is, of course, a hard sell for leaders to make. Essentially the people who remain on the team will carry more responsibility and, in some sense, their jobs will change. But this is true for more organizations (and ministries) than Tesla. While you may not be asked for more production with fewer people on the team, your job will change if you are in one of the following six scenarios:

The Only Place and Time Your Job Won’t Be Changing

1. If your organization or ministry is growing, your job will be changing.

When growth occurs, there are more people to serve and more responsibilities to share. In the midst of growth, jobs continually change. Things move around. People take on additional work. Organizational structures morph.

2. If your organization or ministry is in start-up phase, your job will be changing.

During a start-up, roles change as new learning is acquired. Things are moving at a fast pace and the information that was available when the roles were first designed is not the same information the organization has now.

3. If the context or the industry is changing, your job will be changing.

If the industry changes, so will your job. If the context where your church is located changes, so will your role. If there are less resources because of a downturn in the economy, your job will be changing.

4. If the overarching strategy is changing, your job will be changing.

If the strategy changes, and strategy often changes because it is contextualized, then your role will be changing too.

5. If you are developing new skills, your job will be changing.

Your role changes not just because the organization or ministry changes. Your role changes if you develop new skills because you want to leverage those skills for greater effectiveness.

6. If you are wisely evaluating your time, your job will be changing.

If you evaluate where you invest your time, you will inevitably chose to “stop doing” some things and to re-invest that time and energy in what is most fruitful. If you plan your work, and not simply do work, your job will be changing.

While the changes will be more drastic in some places than others, your role is likely to change. The only place your job does not change is if you are in stable and predictable organization in a stable and predictable context, which is less and less likely in our rapidly changing world. The only time your job does not change is if you decide you will not learn new skills and if you refuse to evaluate yourself so you can be more effective. So if you don’t want any changes to your role, then find one of those increasingly rare and predictable organizations and refuse to learn new things.

This article originally appeared here.

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ericgeiger@churchleaders.com'
Eric Geiger serves as the Vice President of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Prior to LifeWay, Eric served local churches, most recently investing eight years as the executive pastor of Christ Fellowship Miami. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.