Why your church needs EOS.
Businesses fail. Non-Profits can lack organizational effectiveness. Institutions need to utilize the best practices available to succeed, whether they’re selling a product, providing services, spreading the gospel, or philanthropic purposes. Fortunately for the corporate world, there are thousands of new, well-educated students who are well trained in the area of business and organizational effectiveness on a yearly basis. Church leaders come out of school trained and well versed in pastoral matters and have a clear, strong purpose within their organization, however they tend to lack the best organizational effectiveness tools and disciplines. And, due to the gravity of what the church stands for and what it is trying to accomplish, organizational effectiveness within the church should be a much higher priority. Right?
Arguably, you could say, churches already have a strong vision. Churches are the body of Christ, and together are his hands and feet on earth. We all know this is not how it plays out in the real world, far too often churches split from lack of clarity of who they are, why they exist, and what they are trying to accomplish. EOS helps clarify this and forces open discussion, forces unanimous decisions, and forces church leaders to provide a simple but effective vision that makes it easy to know where the church is heading. When I think of what this could do for a church, I think of three things that could be accomplished with this small feat. (1) Buy-in. What church doesn’t struggle with buy in? What church can’t get volunteers to show up early and help? What church can’t get members to participate in small groups within the church? People are drawn to people who know where they are going in life. Similarly, people are drawn to organizations that know where they are going and what they are trying to accomplish.
Churches, like any organization, need great people. Organizations need clear values that define the people can be in leadership, and what skills are required to succeed in those leadership roles. EOS takes your core values, your defined culture, and makes an easy to use tool that helps put the right people into the rights seats of the church. EOS always uses a tool, called the accountability chart, that clarifies who is doing what, who reports to who, and creates accountability within leadership. Many churches and stumble with poorly built leadership structures; such as one person having too much power, pastors not fully understanding what is required of them to be successful, or the general church community doesn’t know who to go to for what. There are many, many more scenarios of problems created by poor leadership structure, and EOS is a system that will help solve these problems at the core, and alleviate the pain associated with them forever. Bold statement, right?
Oooh – data, the fun one. What church needs or uses data? Well, every church – if you accept donations, count the number of church goers on any given week, or want to keep track of how much is needed for the fancy, new gospel-spreading parking lot. Churches use data, but many fail to accurately define which data is most important to them, create goals, and monitor those goals on a regular basis to ensure the church is being successful. And according to the EOS system, less is more – so not just choosing a bunch of data points but looking at the most important for that specific church. Creating these will allow for visibility into big church issues and where effectiveness is lacking.
EOS says it this way, successful people know how to solve issues so that they stop resurfacing. This skill, which few people have, comes from understanding how to get to the root of an issue. In an organization that runs on EOS, there are 6 types of issues. Can you guess what they are? (hint: look at the wheel)
Churches needto discuss their issues. Most don’t, and the few who do don’t do it right. Many bottle them up, ignore them, attack the wrong issue (don’t go deep enough for the root cause), or are afraid to accept that problems exist at all. This is cancer to a church. Why? Because if we add pain killers and wrap bandages around sores, the disease will fester until it destroys from the inside out. Graphic and hard to hear, but few accept this fact - issues don’t go away unless they are dealt with. They might for disappear for years, but they will resurface eventually. EOS solves this by creating space and tools for issues to be dealt with. Weekly, quarterly, and yearly, teams are sitting down and discussing the root of issues and solving them forever. We use an acronym called IDS – which stands for Identify, Discuss, and Solve. Many teams spend forever on Discuss, without having identified the root issue, let alone solving it. Conquer this skill, and your church will become healthier and healthier.
Each church has their own way of doing what they do. However, far too often a family leaves, a family who lead the small groups, sat on the elder board, taught Sunday school, and set up chairs every Sunday morning, and everything starts to fall apart. What happens now? If people step up, will they do it the ‘right’ way for that church? Processes are simply the rules to the game – they help church members know what to do. If the new volunteer creates a new way of setting out chairs but doesn’t know that there is a hand truck in the back closet, it could be 8:57 on Sunday morning with only half of the chairs set up. This example might sound like overkill to some people, but every church of different sizes has their way of doing different functions within the church. By writing them down, we create consistency and fluidity, and rely less on specific people who have just done it forever. Document the best practices (look up the 80/20 rule) and create consistency within your church.
Lastly, we get to traction. Vision, EOS says, is hallucination without traction. We need to be accomplishing our vision or we are simply spinning our wheels. Many churches know what they want to accomplish but lack the disciplines to get there. We provide two simple solutions; rocks and a meeting pulse. Rocks, a concept by Stephen covey, are the most important things that need to be accomplished in the next 90 days that the church needs to do to move towards accomplishing its vision (1-year plan). The meeting pulse, creates ongoing communication for leadership. We integrate a regular weekly meeting that has the same effective agenda that solves issues and keeps your teams healthy.
Churches need to be as effective as possible. EOS can get them there.
Did this blog resonate with you? We want to help. Visit us at focusedfacilitators.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.