What do we need to do at our churches to avoid this chasm in developing a great guest experience?
Some churches stay in a perpetual cycle of growing and declining. The church peaks, then dips, only to peak again. It’s possible for a church to stay in this cycle for decades.
One of the most important aspects of leadership in any organization is the ability to delegate authority to others. Delegation is especially key for leadership development, as well as maintaining a healthy work / life balance. At some point in a growing organization, it is literally impossible for one decision-maker to make all the decisions — and the sooner others are able to learn how to make decisions and handle authority, the faster they develop the leadership skills necessary for both the individual and the organization to succeed.
As leaders, we focus a lot on making good decisions. As parents, coaches, business and church leaders, we want to make the best decisions possible. However, there are actually times when the best decision is the ability to not make a bad decision. Bad decisions will happen; they are a part of life. But, some of them can certainly be avoided.
I’m often asked about how leaders resolve difficult issues. One of the things that leaders are required to do, if they lead well, is to be able to handle the more difficult issues in a way that brings reconciliation and resolution.
All of us view life through a prism of our own experiences. All of us view life through a particular paradigm. For better of worse, our view of things is shaped by the mindset we bring to each opportunity life presents to us. Our view of people is shaped by what we have been taught about people and what our past experiences have been with people. Our view of God is shaped by what we have been taught about God and what our past spiritual experiences have been. Our views of politics, art, business, religion, and every other facet of life are shaped by what we have seen, heard, and encountered throughout our lives. To a great extent, therefore, perception becomes reality. What we come to think about people and things determines the way we see those people and things, and the way we “see” life determines our interaction with the thousands of experiences and opportunities that life sets before us. In other words, your thinking shapes your life.
Symbols are powerful. They add a richness to routine. They inspire hope. Symbols arouse emotions more quickly than reasoning. Symbols elevate the “why” above the “what.”
One of the worst feelings in the world is seeing those flashing red-and-blue lights in your rear-view mirror signaling that you’re being pulled over by a police officer. More often than not, those lights indicate that you were driving too fast for the road you were on … at least that’s my pattern. (Yes, it is, unfortunately, a pattern in my life — pray for me!)
As leaders — bosses, parents, coaches and leaders of all kinds — we often are also driving too fast for the road that we’re on in life.
In the 1970s, one researcher noted: “There are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept.” According to these definitions, leadership is influence, power, mobilization, motivation, processes, inspiration, among many others.
The same could be said of the church: “There are almost as many different ways of leading the church as there are persons who have attempted it.”
In work or professional settings, the best feedback is face-to-face. However, I have found it is very difficult and utopian to expect that everyone will act this way. As a result, we have implemented the use of 360 feedback as a part of our annual reviews and, on occasion, as a part of time-sensitive feedback needs.