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Are there suggestions for explaining the need for measurable goals in a non-work, specifically at my church?

Background
My family and I attend a small Episcopal church that isn't going to survive if it doesn't build a larger congregation. At the annual meeting a week ago, I spoke either so eloquently or so forcefully about this issue that I was asked to be "Evangelism Coordinator" to lead tackling this problem. Okay, so for so good, I'm excited about taking on this project and honored to have been asked.

As I begin to sketch out a plan to get this going, I'm running into my first problem. It seems obvious that we need to set goals and defining appropriate MT goals won't be difficult. However, prior experience says that I may have trouble getting everyone to see why concrete goals are needed. In meetings where questions of "mission" and "strategy" have come up, there is a significant number of people who find that kind of language and thinking to objectionable when discussing something spiritual like church. I tend more toward an approach that says that purposes may vary, but an organization is still an organization and a project is still a project and there are a lot of tools that can be used across a wide variety of situations.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to adjust my approach to persuade others in the congregation that it is okay to borrow methods from the secular world for our own purposes starting with defining some measurable goals?

Thanks,
Morag

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="mksmith"]Are there suggestions for explaining the need for measurable goals in a non-work, specifically at my church?

As I begin to sketch out a plan to get this going, I'm running into my first problem. It seems obvious that we need to set goals and defining appropriate MT goals won't be difficult. However, prior experience says that I may have trouble getting everyone to see why concrete goals are needed. In meetings where questions of "mission" and "strategy" have come up, there is a significant number of people who find that kind of language and thinking to objectionable when discussing something spiritual like church. I tend more toward an approach that says that purposes may vary, but an organization is still an organization and a project is still a project and there are a lot of tools that can be used across a wide variety of situations.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to adjust my approach to persuade others in the congregation that it is okay to borrow methods from the secular world for our own purposes starting with defining some measurable goals?

Thanks,
Morag[/quote]

Do you have an Evangelism Board in the church or is your Coordinator position solo?

In your message you have drawn a conclusion: the congregation will not survive unless it grows. Do the leaders of your congregation share this view?

I firmly believe basic managerial principles apply (Who does What by When? for committee work; Have an agenda and finish on time; etc.) Having said that, church boards comprise volunteers and authority must be earned over time.

I am PMing you so you can know my background.

Mark's picture

Please do listen to the Pre-Wire cast.

Mark

mksmith's picture

The coordinator position is solo with the requirement prior to my accepting it that the job to be done was one for the entire congregation. I'm willing to coordinate and lead the effort, but need everyone else to pitch in.

The question of whether or not the leaders share my view is a good one. Unlike larger places I've been, there isn't a group of folks who could be called the leadership. There is the Bishop's Warden (effectively the CEO) and a treasurer and about 15 folks who regularly attend services. So while the leadership, such as it is, agrees, there isn't a uniform consensus across the congregation.

Certainly I see part of the initial tasks working to build that consensus and I will listen to the "Pre-wire" podcast for help. And there are lots of other things from Manager Tools and my own experience that can help with that and other aspects of this project. My first concerns though are avoiding creating problems at the outset by being too obvious about bringing a "business" perspective and toolkit into a situation where the tools may be valuable, but the superficial language rubs some people the wrong way.

Morag

[quote="tlhausmann"]
Do you have an Evangelism Board in the church or is your Coordinator position solo?

In your message you have drawn a conclusion: the congregation will not survive unless it grows. Do the leaders of your congregation share this view?

I firmly believe basic managerial principles apply (Who does What by When? for committee work; Have an agenda and finish on time; etc.) Having said that, church boards comprise volunteers and authority must be earned over time.

I am PMing you so you can know my background.[/quote]

WillDuke's picture

So I guess the question I have is "How are you setting the goals?"

If you do a brainstorm with the appropriate people involved this might get you better buy-in. You're assuming the goal is to grow the congregation, but apparently not everyone agrees.

Get everyone in a room. Remember the "Peanut Butter" rule. (You'll have to listen to the cast) and open your mind. I've been amazed what pops up when I get out of the way. :)