10ST – Committees

10ST is an ongoing series digging into Geoff Surratt’s Ten Stupid Things that Keep Churches from Growing and how those stupid things keep youth ministries from growing as well.
Ok, so technically, committees themselves aren’t the stupid thing as this title may suggest, but “letting committees steer the ship” is. Surratt suggests that letting committees lead decisions ineffectively slows the decision making process so much that it qualifies for stupid thing status. I’d have to agree. Vision (which is critical to leading well) comes from God, not from a committee. Instead of having committees to determine direction, we need God to tell us where He’s leading… then we need courageous people to step out and follow, and we need effectively led and resourced teams to implement action.
At least in the circles I’ve grown up in, this stupid thing may be one of the most common. Our churches strongly (and sometimes even to our own detriment) maintain the independence of each congregation and choose our own leaders. Our system of choosing leaders can (but doesn’t always) lead to a multitude of committees and meetings and agenda items. Without a compelling vision from God, these committees often degenerate into meetings with little sense of the need to actually accomplishing something. We came. We met. See you again next month/week/year…

Surratt offers a four pronged approach to leading well in a team environment that will benefit about every youth minister & pastor I know. (Remember, the committees aren’t really the problem; it’s when the committees lead rather than implement.)

  1. Get a vision. Be alone with God enough that you know what He wants. If you don’t have a clear and compelling picture of what God is calling you to do, it will be nearly impossible to see the team/committee you’re leading flourish and grow.
  2. Share the dream. Once the vision is clear, begin to share it with key leaders in your ministry.
  3. Define the mission. As the team understands and buys into the vision, you need to be defining the specific roles and pieces and how those play into that vision. It’s awesome when a team is able to put people into service in areas where they are genuinely gifted and passionate about serving to reach the mission.
  4. Empower the missionaries. Keep the vision fresh, keep the team on mission, keep the path clear, and give the team what it needs to accomplish the mission.

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