Part 4: Doing Staff Reorganizations Well

Editor's Note: Paul Clark, the Operations Pastor at Fairhaven Church in Ohio and a Contributing Editor toYour Church, recently underwent a major staff reorganization. In a four-part series that started three weeks ago, he explained what Fairhaven sought to change, and the first step for making that change—the dissolution of the executive team. Two weeks ago, he addressed the establishment of new title structures. Last week, he explained how Fairhaven created a Management Team. In today's concluding article, he explains how Fairhaven created a Lead Team.

Step Four: Creation of a Lead Team

The final step involves how Fairhaven sets the vision and direction for the church. The new Lead Team is comprised of a mixture of individuals who are invited to participate based on their experience, gifting, vision, and their strategic role in the broad scheme of ministry. It includes both men and women, ranging from Boomers to Gen X. It's an eclectic group, each representing a unique vantage point on Fairhaven and culture.

The Lead Team deals with four strategic questions:

1. Where are we going? This involves the vision and values of Fairhaven Church. It encompasses who we are and how we believe God wants us to present the Good News to our community and our world. It's an understanding of the church's DNA.

2. How will we get there? This second question deals with the strategic plans and initiatives that must come into being for our vision and values to become real. It's laying the tracks upon which the ministries will run, to insure that we remain who we believe God has called us to be. It's macro instead of micro. It's stays at the 30,000-foot level, leaving the details of implementation to the Management Team.

3. What are we saying? The voice of Fairhaven is established through the Lead Team. The messaging, the preaching, and the communication are coordinated at a macro level within the Lead Team. Our Communication Team director sits on the Lead Team. The team helps David Smith, the Lead Pastor, take the pulse of the congregation and identify the needs that should be addressed and the shape of our communication.

4. What's beyond the horizon? We love to plan and we believe that good planning always pays off. Though God can (and does) surprise us, good leadership necessitates good planning. The Lead Team handles long range issues like multi-site, demographic venues, facility expansion, and personnel planning.

The Lead Team is led by our Lead Pastor. He values lively discussion, a free-flowing exchange of ideas, mutual respect for one another, and relational integrity. Meetings are twice each month and last no more than 90 minutes. The team has unquestioned authority, even if for no other reason than it's led by the Lead Pastor. But because it has delegated most of the implementation issues to the Management Team, thus sharing power with another group of staff leaders, it has broadened the number of people with a voice in shaping the future of the church. Sharing power and decision-making has infused life into our staff and created the foundation for accomplishing the goals stated at the beginning.

Our former staff structure lasted five years, which doesn't seem like a long time. But the changing generational landscape of church staffs requires that we keep a careful eye on our organizational structure, not only to be prepared for future growth, but to be sure we retain a healthy and engaged staff.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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