Sustainable Church Growth through Alignment – Part 2

Teams function best when they are aligned

Teams function best when they are aligned

In part 1 of “Sustainable Church Growth Through Alignment” I spoke about the importance of everyone on your team being in alignment in order to achieve sustainable church growth. When everyone is in agreement in both the WHAT and the HOW of moving forward, things have a much greater opportunity to progress smoothly.  But what happens when everyone is not in agreement?  In my observation and experience, the greatest obstacle to achieving alignment is the fear of change.  Following, are some tools for dealing with change.
1) Know the truth about change: 
“Most people don’t mind change, it’s the process they don’t like.”
• Losing weight – like the change, not the process
• Becoming wealthy – like the change, not the process
• Education – like the change, not the process

Marilyn Ferguson once said, “It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear . . . . It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.”
2) Understand the “roadblocks” to change :
“Know where you are with your team to best know how to get where you need to go.”

1)  Board members who abuse the authority they have been given
2)  Staff who say or feel “Things would be better if I was in charge”
3)  Leaders who in subtle ways undermine the Pastor’s direction
4)  People who see no reason for change
5)  Individuals who are married to a program or ministry that does not align
3) How to move leaders through change
 When moving your church through change, ask the following questions:

 A) Have I shared the BIG IDEA with enough groups and individuals?
 B) Have I given enough opportunity for individuals to be heard?
 C) Have I considered the human implications?  (who will be affected, what
     extra work for the staff/leaders will this create)
 D) Have I considered the financial implications?  (what will this cost and can our budget handle it)
 E) Have I obtained “buy in”?
 F) Have I got the right people in the right places to make it happen?

Here are some final team building thoughts on bringing success to the “Big Change” and ultimately alignment.
1)  Give a Compelling reason for change.  (what will the change solve)

2)  Create ownership by giving away authority.
3) Allow leaders to make decisions.  (push decision making down to the    
     lowest level possible)
4) Repeat the information in fresh new ways.

5) Generate short-term wins.

“Successful change could be defined as your perceived opponents becoming your biggest proponents”

After going through the entire change process, what happens when a team leader still won’t align?
One of three choices:
a) Abandon the vision  (unachieved goals)
b) Compromise the Vision  (achieve a portion of the goals)
c)  Remove the player


Until next time,

Chris Sonksen


Coming together is a beginning… Keeping together is progress… Working together is success.
– Henry Ford


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 22, 2009, in church growth, Leadership, Team, Uncategorized, vision and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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