I don’t believe any organization is immune to problems. Problems can range from lack of resources, not enough visitors, wrong building location for ministry, too much resources, need for better technology, and so on.
How do these problems relate back to church leadership? Simple. If church leadership can’t agree on the problem(s), then the solutions are either slow to come or will never come to realization. Any great organization has problems, but what they do with them is what makes them great whereas other organization falter. Great organizations harness the problem, quickly define it, and immediately begin working on a solution. Great organizations and their leaders agree about what the problem is.
When leadership can’t agree on the problem, this just prolongs the agony of fixing it and moving on. Once you can agree on the problem, then you can work on the solution jointly as a team and are willing to do anything to overcome it. 🙂 Progress isn’t slow because of the solution but instead of defining the problem and cutting through all the noise.
I think back to JFK’s speech about defining the problem of putting someone on the moon before Russia. As many know Russia put someone into orbit around the Earth before the US. Through much discussion with his advisers, JFK made a commitment which defined the problem that we will put a person on the moon before the end of the decade in 1961 and before anyone else. Keeping in mind that the Russians were much closer to this reality than the US as they have sent someone into orbit around the Earth. Eight years later in 1969 that defined problem was solved when Niel Armstrong landed on the moon before anyone else. There is only two other events that match this kind of ambition – Panama Canal (10 years) during peace time and the Manhattan Project (approx 4 -5 years) in war. Incidentally these two projects were also completed by defining the problem first and working towards a solution – quickly.
Amazingly JFK’s project started with great leaders that defined the problem first and quickly. JFK’s announcement to put people on the moon came only six weeks after Russia put their man in orbit around the Earth. I have seen and heard of organizations taking more than six weeks to work on far simpler things than JFK’s project. Some examples are their yearly budget or what color should the playground equipment be. Both of these problems need decisions before executing, however, the time allotted seems very disproportionate taken in the context of landing a person on the moon.
JFK’s decision in six weeks was a lofty and heavy laden decision. I don’t think many organizations have the magnitude of sending a man to the moon, that JFK defined in his speech. However many organizations take a lot longer in defining the problem before they start working on a solution. 🙂 Why do you think that is? Couldn’t time be better spent when we define the problem quickly, then move towards a solution, that has more time dedicated to it and a better positive change?