personal productivitystrategy

Whatever got your here won’t get your there.

How do we bring about organizational change in the context of a world that continually changing? The way we think about change frames our understanding which in turn motivate our actions.

The diagram above is one way that I think about change. The top line represents all the activities that your church does. Think about the line from point A to point B every being activity that could possibly engage in. That little hash mark in the middle of the line marks the dividing line between things that push the mission forward and things that slows the missions down. The more you do on the right side of that hash mark the more the mission moving forward. The more you do on the left hand of the hash mark the more your mission slows it down. Our job as church leaders is to focus our orginization on activities that push the mission forward.

The problem is this the world in which we minister is constantly changing. The second line represents a changed world. You can see that the hash mark is moved further to the right. Maybe your church launches another campus or the community you serve in shifts demographics or just the general culture shifts. The second line represents what happens every time the context we minister changes in any way.  This happens in our world all the time. Activities that used to push the mission forward now actually slow the mission down.  In fact, there are plenty of things that we do that use to help our churches reach their goals but now they actually hurt that effort.

This concept haunts me. There’s no easy way to understand when the line shifts. It’s hard to get a clear picture of what in our midst used to be effective and no longer is. Our job as leaders is to anticipate those things that today we are affective and abandon them for things that will be more effective tomorrow. We have to be ahead of the culture change.

No one else in your organization but you will ask for these changes.  We have to push beyond the good for the great.

[What does your church need to change this fall to excelerate your ability to fulfill your God given mission? I’d love to hear about it.]


  1. Fascinating and important topic, Rich. I like how you frame it. Interestingly enough, we talk similarly when working with men who have used violence and want to make change.

  2. Rich-would you say the “path to slowness”, ie when an element becomes stale vs. forward moving it is because of great integration among the congregation or a failure to meet needs? I realize every situation will be different, but I wonder how you can follow this as a measure of success as well as forward motion.

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