Sustainable Church Growth Through Alignment – Part 1

Builders must be Alighned in both the How and Why in a project

Builders must be Aligned in both the How and Why in a project

Builders may agree on WHAT the building will look like, but if they don’t agree with the HOW then there are going to be problems.  As you begin or continue with your church growth program you will need to make sure your team members are all in alignment. First you must identify the type of growth you are trying to accomplish.

There are two basic types of growth. They are “Opportunistic Growth” and “Sustainable Growth”

· Opportunistic Growth is something that just happens, people just show up, you’re in the right place at the right time but it is very short lived.  There is nothing wrong with using opportunistic growth to support short-term objectives.

· Sustainable growth
is repeatable, systematic, and aligned with the goals of the organization.  Sustainable growth is also born from internal and external alignment of the organizations departments and teams.

The difference between opportunistic and sustainable growth for a church is the difference between being a flash-in-the-pan versus having long-term viability.

Sustainable growth happens through ALIGNMENT!

Question:  What is alignment?

Answer:  Leaders and Departments uniting to a common purpose and process and implementing it into the life of their ministry.

Why alignment is so powerful?

· Creates continuity through each generation
· Keeps everyone moving in the same direction
· Promotes Teamwork
· Keeps everyone speaking the same language

The systems of your church will either create alignment or cause confusion.  How do you make sure that “what is on the wall” (vision, purpose, mission statement)  is “happening down the hall” (in the place of ministry or department)?  Alignment.

Here are some keys to building alignment…

1)  Get the current team moving in the same direction.
2)  Recruit and hire based on process.
3)  Keep all leaders accountable to the purpose and process.
4)  Give clear expectations – defining what behavior is expected.
5)  Communication:
a) Team realizing the importance of their place in the vision.
b) Team understanding the devastation of misalignment.
c) Your team can never live out what you DON’T tell them.
6)  Reward – what gets rewarded gets repeated.
7) Consequences – Alignment is that important.

The Goal of Alignment is unity not uniformity – you are not trying to get everyone to be the same and have no individuality or creativity.  The objective is to obtain complete unity on the process.  If you do this then you are agreeing on the “Majors” and your conflicts will center more on the minors.

What happens when your team is misaligned?

a)  Ministry loses focus
b)  Multiple directions
c)  Unachieved goals
d)  Fragmented team
e)  Loss of synergy

What are the causes of misalignment?

a)  Personal agendas
b)  Strong personalities
c)  Difference in philosophy of ministry
d)  Insecurity
e)  Lack of communication
f)  Lack of focus

Next time we will look at how you can correct misalignments, and various ways to help your team through the changes that all churches experience in order to achieve sustainable growth.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen


“One of the first things we recognized is that most managers don’t know what management is about.  Alignment is the essence of management.”
Fred Smith, CEO – Federal Express


About Chris Sonksen

Chris Sonksen is the founder and Lead Pastor of South Hills Church and has an exceptional ability to inspire both secular and non-secular audiences. Under his leadership, South Hills has experienced phenomenal growth and in just a few short years has grown from a handful of people to nearly 3000 in attendance today. Today South Hills has become a thriving, multi-service and multi-site church. Chris has a magnetic, captivating and humorous style for motivating and inspiring all audiences. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken both nationally and internationally in companies such as Verizon, Securitas and Home Depot, and there is no doubt that by applying his teachings, his audience will improve the quality of their lives! Chris is the author of two books In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake. Chris is the founder of Celera Church Strategy Group an organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence in all things, with the goal to “raise the national average of church attendance,” by equipping church leaders with resources and coaching. Chris brings high-energy focus and a passion for vision and leadership to encourage and equip the local Church. Chris is a native Californian, born in Long Beach and currently resides in Corona with his wife, Laura and their two children, Grace and Aidan.

Posted on September 19, 2009, in choices, church growth, Leadership, Relationships, Team and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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