In addition to leading your ministry, you must also manage it well (1 Tim.3:4-5, 12). “Leadership” can be defined as “doing right things” (effectiveness). “Management” is “doing things right” (efficiency). Both are important and necessary in ministry.
Managing involves a number of tasks:
1. Leading - management involves ensuring that everyone knows the specific purpose and mission of the ministry. Answer the questions, “Where are we going?” and “Why?” Mission drifts and vision leaks, so they need to be continually reinforced.
2. Planning - management then involves planning and strategy that helps the ministry achieve its mission. This answers the question, “How are we going to get there?” This mission needs to be translated into objectives that outline key activities that will be done. Ministry goals can help you be effective in your ministry and leadership. The year will be busy, but what with? Goals and objectives help us focus our efforts on what is most important. Successful ministry events, ministries and experience don’t just happen. They are the result of excellent preparation and planning. Planning is a Biblical concept (Ps.20:4. Prov.15:22; 16:3; 20:18; 21:5. Jer.29:11). God gave Joseph a plan to save Egypt (Gen.41), Moses a plan for the tabernacle (Ex.26) and David a detailed design for the temple (1 Chron.28). Think and prepare ahead!
3. Organising - management involves organising people and resources to accomplish the mission of the ministry. People have to be assigned to specific tasks and events or meetings have to be organised. This answers the questions, “Who will do this and when?”
4. Directing - finally, management involves continual monitoring and evaluation of how things are progressing then making appropriate responses, adjustments or changes. This answers the crucial question, “How are we doing?” There needs to be appropriate measurements so that you know how things are going. If you don’t know what the score is, then you can’t lead well. Make use of “vital signs”, to help measure a ministry’s health and growth.
Putting Legs on It:
* Create a one-page list of strategic Ministry Goals for the year. Involve others in the process, use your job description for ideas, list everything you’re doing and think about what needs to change or improve, think of new things you could start doing, and dream a little. Stretch a little! If you can’t articulate what you’re trying to accomplish, you either don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing OR you’re trying to do too much!
* Schedule all your important meetings and appointments for the year well ahead of time (like “big rocks” in the jar). Then don’t forget to be flexible along the way.
* Keep track of “vital signs” for your ministry, so you can monitor its health and growth. What should you measure? We count what we value.
* Be a great communicator. Make sure everyone knows what’s happening well in advance and who’s doing what.
* Schedule an “energy burst” to do an important task or brainstorm about a certain issue.
* Keep focused on the “big picture” by delegating as many management details to other competent people. Empower, delegate and get out of the way.
* See the big picture. Don’t get caught up in all the minutiae details. Surround yourself with great people and trust them to do their jobs. Turn people loose.
* Get rid of wasteful bureaucracy. Always seek to simplify, remove complexity and formality. Make the organisation more responsive and agile. Have a minimum of rules, approvals and forms. Streamline decision-making.
Unfortunately, many people lack an appreciation for management, thinking it is un-spiritual. However, we must remember that administration is a gift of the Holy Spirit, just as prophecy, healing and faith are (1 Cor.12). Thank God for those who serve faithfully with this important gift.