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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.

13 Nov '12

Any ministry is only as strong as its weakest area

Posted by T.J. Addington in organizational alignment, organizational health
Ministries like any organization are a series of interconnected parts where each plays a role in the whole. Given the connections, it is also true that in many cases, the ministry is only as strong as its weakest area - a sobering thought.

The corollary truth is that when we choose to ignore areas of weakness we actually hold the whole ministry hostage to those areas of weakness. A church may have quality ministries but if their small group ministry is weak (where this is the relational glue of the church) the whole ministry is weak because the back door remains open. Thus, this area of weakness impacts the rest of the ministry.

Generally staff have an opinion on where the weaknesses lie in any ministry. For years, an area of weakness was the intake process for our mission. If you don't catch dishealth at the front gate you must deal with it later and others pay the price. While the organization knew this was true, there was not a culture that made it OK to talk about the issue and so it went on and on. I spoke recently with someone who attends a church where the music leader is incompetent, will not listen to others, and is frankly terrible up front. No one dares push the issue and the church remains small and will probably stay that way because of this area of obvious weakness.

Healthy organizations have an ethos where areas of weakness can be identified and addressed. It is not about blaming people as the issue usually comes down to processes. Either way, however, if an area of weakness is present and is impacting other areas as they usually do, there must be a way to address it. And to address it there must be a way to talk about it. If there is not the very culture of the organization conspires against reformation.

One weak link in a chain compromises the whole chain. That is why any ministry is only as strong as its weakest link.