As a family pastor there is nothing harder than helping our team stay aligned. My job is to help our preschool, children's, youth, and college leaders fight together for a common vision instead of just for the ministry they lead. Our team at Grace Community is always working on this. It is a constant battle because we are moving at such a fast pace as we reach families. This morning I had the chance to hear Todd Clark, lead pastor at Discovery Church in California, and he helped us process how to get and keep alignment. It was probably the most helpful session on alignment I have every heard. Check these notes out from the session.
Here are seven insights into gaining and maintaining alignment...
- Develop a proper reference point. / balance is needed! Balance our busyness with the proper goal. Not programs but it's people and a person Jesus Christ.
- Constant corrections / we lose balance when we refuse to make needed corrections. People on the team come together when problems are solved and forward motion is gained!
- Clearly and constantly articulate your mission, vision, and strategy. / use every opportunity to share the stories that matter. It will take years! Alignment is a process.
- Foster and atmosphere of input / true alignment is fostered and not coerced. Every team member needs the freedom to have a voice. We ask people to buy into the dream. When staff have influence they can buy in to the team's direction. When a big move comes we have to ask how we will be do this and get input! 2 meetings instead of 1 meeting! Acceptance and agreement are not the same thing as alignment. Acceptance is the bottom level of alignment, agreement gives you their mind, alignment happens when you have the head and the heart!
- Trust your instincts and confront mis-aligned team members. / if you feel like someone is pulling in a different direction I bet they are! Confront it. Mis-aligned team members are not going to align themselves and they will draw other team members off track.
- Little deviations in direction are devastating over time. / the faster pace our organizations run means being off course just a little can be devastating to the church. Growth demands alignment.
- We vs. Me / alignment means we have to constantly push people to think we because we are drawn to focus on me. Alignment happens when a team member, regardless of position, gives precedence to the team they belong to over the team they lead.