Execution- Part 1
No don’t worry this is not about taking an ax to programs. This is focused instead on trying to bridge the gap between what leaders of a church desire to achieve and what ends up being delivered.
Look at today’s bookstore and you will see shelves focused on casting vision. We are taught as leaders in church how to cast vision. I would dare say that one of the biggest struggles that leaders face is how to cast vision effectively. Trust me, vision casting is vital. The Bible says that where there is no vision, the people perish. How many churches have folded under because of a lack of vision? They lose their vision of fulfilling the Great Commission, they lose their vision of living for Christ, and before long they are blinded by pride and power.
There is a next level though that I feel distinguishes leaders among leaders and that is in the discipline of execution. We have many people that are great at casting vision, they can see things clearly, but when it comes to telling people how to achieve the vision, what action steps are needed, how they are going to get things done right; they are lost.
It’s a lot like telling a child to put on their shoes and to tie them. They may slip on the shoe, but if they don’t execute the final part which is to tie the shoe laces, they will fall every time.
Then these leaders that do not execute well jump from one church to another, casting vision, over and over, and yet when it comes to getting things done, once again the shoes still remain untied. Then these leaders try to blame the people for not “catching the vision”, when in reality the leader couldn’t tell people how to live it out.
Is the discipline of execution what is missing in our church?
I recently read a book by Larry Bossidy, former CEO of Honeywell and Ram Charan that was simply called Execution. It was a great book that focused heavily on execution from a corporate stance. The leadership principles though have great crossover. For the next few weeks I will be focusing on applying some of those principles to church leadership practices. My hope is to be able to deliver a best practice of execution in the church body.
Just some introductory things to know about execution in the church:
1. Execution needs to be a part of your church’s strategy. When you are setting goals for the upcoming year, planning out a budget, figuring what new groups are needed to connect more families to the church body; have a plan for execution. This will involve you understanding the three processes of execution:
a. People: having the right people ready to serve
b. Strategy- have a clear plan and path to be accomplished
c. Operations- having the support necessary for seeing this accomplished
2. How you execute determines your church health. This may sound risky, but the reality is that the churches that are growing spiritually and physically are ones that are executing at a greater rate than other churches. Churches that execute more effectively can also deal with change at a greater comfort than those that cannot.
3. Execution requires overall commitment and honesty. If you have people in your church that are not going to be honest about how to execute, there will be failure. If you are not honest about what strategies are essential to see the Great Commission fulfilled, then the organization is deceived. If the operations do not support the church in execution, people will not be committed to what God has in store.
Execution is vital to the church and determining how your church is executing on a broader level will help the church be ready to move forward in the vision that God has uniquely given to each body of believers.