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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

06 Jan '14

Architects, contractors and builders

Posted by T.J. Addington in gifting, leadership styles, wiring
Are you an architect, contractor or builder? Understanding which role you play and then ensuring that you primarily stay in that role can make all the difference in your success.

Architects are those who design ministry philosophy, structures and who connect the dots on mission, vision, guiding principles and end results. Like architects of building projects they do a lot of thinking, dreaming of what can be and look for design options that will best leverage their ministry. Generally there is one key architect in an organization - the senior leader of the organization or of a division.

Architects then find contractors who can ensure that the vision is carried out. Contractors are team leaders who can oversee the building out of major ministry areas. They spend enough time with the architect to ensure that they understand the plan and the blueprint as their part of the building must be in sync with the plans and work of the other contractor teams. No team is independent of the other or the structure is unsound. The larger the ministry the more critical it is that team leaders spend with one another and the architect to ensure alignment and a solid ministry structure. It takes a specific skill for contractors to build great teams of builders, to stay in alignment with other contractors and to always be building in sync with the blueprint.

The vast majority of us are of course builders, working for a specific contractor (team leader) with the skill needed to build out our part of the ministry. Builders must be team players because they work with a team of specialists to accomplish a specific task. They more they understand the whole, however, the greater their ability to ensure that their part fits the whole and to make building (ministry) decisions that fit the overall blueprint.

Architects (senior leaders) get themselves into trouble when they do not design clear and coherent blueprints for the organization and work closely with their contractors (team leaders) to ensure that the plan they have is strong, aligned, feasible and can product the desired result. They also get into trouble when they move out of their architectural role to try to tell the contractors what to do or how to do their work. If you are the senior leader of an organization or division how are you doing on the architectural piece?

Contractors get into trouble when they don't understand or buy into the blueprints of the ministry. Or when they try to build their piece of the building (ministry) without regard to the other contractors and their teams. Contractors play three roles. They ensure that their ministry is in sync with the overall vision and commitments of the organization. They ensure that what they do is in sync with other ministry leaders in the organization. And they ensure that they have a quality results oriented team. If you are a contractor, how are you doing in your role?

Builders get into trouble when they don't work with other members of their team to ensure the best work possible done in the most efficient way possible. Team means everything to a builder who must work on a project in sync with others. Non team players on ministry teams hurt the whole team. They also get into trouble when they don't understand how their piece of the ministry pie fits with the other pieces so that there is a coherent whole. If you are a builder, how are you doing in your building role?

In too many ministries there is not clear architecture, there is not alignment and cooperation between ministries and playing on a unified team is not a reality. This hurts everyone. How is your team, leadership community or senior leader doing?

Oh: unless there is a whole lot of communication, cooperation and goodwill between architects builders and contractors...the process does not work. Architects, builders and contractors who don't talk to one another or listen to one another...get what they built and it is often not pretty!