The Power of Systems

A large part of my new appointment has to do with church systems. What systems do we have in place? Which ones are strategic? Which ones are organic? What’s working well? What needs tweaking?

I’ve got an activity I like to use to get our teams involved in the systems analysis process. If you haven’t used it before, you’ll be amazed how sticky notes and a clean wall can transform what you do in the body of Christ.

In order to get us going I usually show the TED talk by Tom Wujec. You can view it here if you aren’t familiar with it.

Then I set our teams loose to design or tweak our systems. Lately I’ve been paying attention to our Discipleship system for adults. We’ve got something there, its just not well defined. After doing this for two iterations, we still didn’t have an easy way to get our point across. That was until I sat next to one of our teenage leaders at Mellow Mushroom one night. I asked her to tell me what she learned at her 608 Leadership Retreat. She said, “Oh that’s easy. Plan, prepare, invite, party, re-post.” I asked her to expound a bit on that. She told me that it’s important to plan because you need to think about who might need to come to an event. Preparing is important so that your physical space is comfortable and you need to prepare your heart too. Then you personally invite others that don’t have a church home. Next its time to party… in other words – worship. And finally you re-post cool pics to social media but you also need to keep re-inviting or inviting others.

She explained evangelism and discipleship better in two minutes than most pastors I know (self included). After hearing her explanation and looking at the nodes and connections that our discipleship teams had come up with, I understood that it really was simple. The adults had come up with exactly the same process. But the process of discovering what we need to be doing was invaluable.

I hope you find ways to look at your systems of word, service, compassion, and justice. And that you all find some easy ways to transform the world this week.

What are your thoughts?