Today our lead staff team met to finalize our ministry plans and calendar for the 2013.14 ministry year. I love getting together with this team. Each one of us is invested in what we are doing together as a whole as much as what we are doing in our areas of responsibility. We always try to hire people who are committed to the whole first and then their area of responsibility second and God has blessed us with great staff who are able to navigate this journey very well.
Every once in a while (ok more than once in a while) I will give my perspective as lead pastor on how we are doing. So today we talked about expectations and more specifically whether we are a low or high expectation church. What level of commitment are we calling those who belong to our church to and what level of commitment are our key leaders modelling? I believe every leader needs to answer that question.
Of course another question is equally important. Are we clear or cloudy on what those expectations are? You may want to call people to a higher level of commitment but without clearly defining and expressing these in a concrete manner all people will have is a call without any sense of direction. For example, we value biblical preaching and teaching that produces life change because we believe that God’s Word is the key in every person’s life. You could say to a leader in your church, “this means that we expect you to value God’s Word”, which seems a bit too abstract to me or you could say, “because we value God’s Word we expect you to bring a Bible with you to church every Sunday, open it, follow along in the passage while it is read and taught, and take notes because you are a leader that is setting an example for others.” The second is definitely clearer while the first is a bit more cloudy.
Church cultures vary. How values are expressed will be different from church to church. What each church must do is clarify expectations. I wish I had a better handle on this twelve years ago. But the great thing is every week, every month, and every year is a learning experience. God give us the grace and the confidence to move forward together.