20 Jul '12
The single greatest ministry accelerator: It is not what you think!
The single greatest ministry accelerator is overlooked by many leaders. It is not a great strategy. It is not working harder or doing more. It is not having the right people (although that is important). It is not a charismatic leader (and does not require one). It does not require money.
It is clarity!
Many leaders miss this and expend a lot of energy in the wrong places. Getting to clarity is the single greatest accelerator of ministry there is. But it requires time, careful thought and constant reinforcement. It is actually the most important thing a leader does - or fails to do.
Lack of clarity leaves personnel to their own devices to figure out what is important, and different individuals will come up with different answers leaving the organization without a focused, aligned ministry. General focus yields general results with general accountability and general effectiveness.
Without maximum clarity, an organization will never have integration or alignment (around what?), will not attract the best people who want to know what they are giving their lives to, will not know when they have achieved success (what results are we seeking?) and leaders will not know how to intentionally lead their teams (toward what?) or have a clear means of making key directional decisions.
It is not necessarily an easy task to achieve clarity but getting there is the single most powerful accelerator to ministry results and organizational alignment. While a leader must take responsibility for helping the organization get to clarity, it is essential that the key stakeholders (boards and key leaders depending on the structure of the organization) take part in the process and are in complete agreement.
Without clarity one cannot lead well. With clarity, your leadership becomes much easier because there is focus and common direction for you, your team and the organization. Maximum clarity changes the leadership and organizational equation in a huge way.
The four areas were maximum clarity are crucial are these:
Clarity on mission: what we ultimately are committed to accomplishing.
Clarity on guiding principles: how we are committed to working.
Clarity on the central ministry focus: what we need to do every day - and do it well to accomplish our mission.
Clarity on the culture of the organization: An intentionally created culture that makes it possible to accomplish your mission.
If you have not gotten to clarity you may want to look at chapters 2,3, and 4 of Leading From the Sandbox. There is a path laid out there that can help you.