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05 – How to Design Church as a Rocking Organization


Strategy is supremely important in every organization, including churches. You need a strategic approach to ministry that defines how you will achieve success.

Design to thrive

I serve as the Executive Pastor at Coastline Community Church, a fast growing church on the east coast of Florida. Coastline’s strategic approach involves the following four choices that set the church up for success in our beach culture.

• We are staff-led. The people who are involved in day-to-day hands-on ministry make the ministry decisions.
• We are vision-driven. We have a four-part vision statement that gives direction to all we do in ministry.
• We are community focused. Community is our middle name because we are outwardly focused.
• We are non-denominational. Given the culture of this community, it just works well here.

The Organizational Core

There are four elements to a healthy organizational core: mission, vision, values, and strategy. When all four pieces of the core present a united front, it is compelling to those who are the best candidates for membership in your church.

I can tell you what your people want. They want clarity on the key points of your church’s purpose. They want simple and inspiring answers to four questions.

1. Why do we exist? (mission)
2. What unites our efforts? (vision)
3. What motivates our behaviors? (values)
4. How will we succeed? (strategy)

What is the best strategy?

There is no single right strategy. The best strategy is the one that aligns well with the other parts of the church’s organizational core.

Your strategy will significantly impact your connection with your community. It includes the church name, your target audiences, and worship style(s).

How will we succeed?

That is the critical question to determine your strategy. It involves all of the following:

Is your strategic approach more classic, contemporary, or cutting edge?
What is your primary ministry focus?
What is your music style and volume level?
What image does your facilities convey?
What is considered appropriate attire?

These are strategy choices.

Bottom line

When you have effectively designed your organizational core, people will understand and embrace what your church is about. They will become your biggest advocates. That’s the power of clarity.

Question: Does your church have a clear strategic approach to ministry?

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Copyright © 2014 Steve Brimmer. All rights reserved.