Leadership In The Garden: The Value of Structure
Each spring I look forward to planting my vegetable garden. It is a hobby of mine that helps me to unplug, and soak on what is going on around me. I have found that as I spend my weekends playing in the dirt, God uses the time to teach me much about life and leadership. This summer, I am writing about those lessons each Monday in a series I am calling Leadership in the Garden.
Last year was the first time that Theresa and I attempted to plant green beans. We knew that beans freeze well, and we could stock our freezer for the winter. The beans grew, and we put a bunch of them up for the winter, but we were somewhat disappointed by their lack of productivity.
The beans initially thrived… grew up and spread everywhere, but what we later learned is that beans need structure. In order to grow well, and be as productive as possible, they need to have a structure in place that guides their growth. This year, Theresa and I have put together a trellis to guide the growth of our beans. As the bean plants grow, we guide them onto the trellis, and they use it as an anchor and boundary for their growth over the rest of the summer.
Structure is good for my beans, but it is also an important part of ministry leadership. Whether you are church planting, leading a student ministry, or pastoring a church; having structures in place to support your ministry is a key to sustainable ministry. Three structures that I believe all churches need to have in place include:
- Discipleship: How does your church help someone become a fully devoted follower of Jesus? What attitudes, beliefs, and habits is your church looking to instill in someone who has been attending for a significant amount of time? We were called to make disciples, evangelism is half of the job.
- Leadership Development: How do you screen and equip people to lead ministries within your church? What attributes qualify someone to lead a ministry or be an elder? What are you currently doing to prepare these people to lead? Having a system in place that constantly prepares people to embrace ministry leadership serves both your church and the Kingdom as a whole.
- Growth Plan: As your church grows, what are your priorities? What areas are going to need more staffing? What is your next hire going to be? How about facilities needs? No paper plan will survive the first day of field testing, but the discipline of writing this down will prepare you for when growth happens.
What structures do YOU think are indispensable for a church?
As a bonus, check out what the Contrarian Planter says about having a plan.