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If you're serious about implementing any or all of the changes we've talked about over the last five days, then you are making a conscious decision to take your ministry to the next level. But to make it stick, to make it last, you need to make a commitment to having a culture of excellence.
To constantly excel, there are several things you need to do:
1) Communicate - let your team and anyone else involved know right up front that this is the goal. Establish an expectation, let them know that it starts with you (walk the talk) and spell out clearly what excellence looks like, how it will be measured, etc...This includes the rest of your staff and especially the senior pastor. You need to make sure they understand the end game and have your back through the process of change. This of course is the easiest part. Implementation is the challenge.
2) Feedback - Feedback needs to become your friend. Doesn't matter if it's good, bad, encouraging, discouraging, whatever....you need to welcome it, encourage it, ask for it. Ideally you want to establish a go to group of 5-6 people who are consistently there, are objective, and have a good sense for what works and what doesn't. Get with them every week, preferably all together in a group, and talk it out. How was last Sunday, what worked, what didn't work, why? How can we improve? If you have multiple services and time allows, I would encourage you to do this after the first service and make changes before the next one. Why repeat mistakes or continue to do things that don't work? Refine as you go and make it better ever time.
3) Make the hard decisions - Remember, second only to the pastor and the messages, your team and what you do are the most visible things in the church. Therefore you've got to be willing to do whatever is necessary to make it the best it can possibly be. This may mean letting some people go, mixing up the roster, going through some growing pains, starting over. Sometimes you must be willing to make some people mad in the short term for long term success. If your culture has been anything but excellent, then most of these things are inevitable, but they are so worth it in the end.
4) Have some playtime - along the way, remember the old saying about all work and no play.... Make sure and have fun as you go. You don't have to be a tyrant to get all this done. You can be firm and fun at the same time. And speking of fun, every once in a while get your team together and go have some. Get together for dinner. Take everyone to a concert. Go play putt-putt or something. These times make for great memories, build strong relationships, and let them know that they aren't just a means to an end, but that you value them as people and as friends. Make sure and put money in your budget to do something like this at least 3-4 times per year.
I hope this series of posts has been helpful and encouraging. And I would love to hear any additional thoughts and comments that could add value to any of these posts. Have a great weekend of worship!