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“I am the vine, you are the branches; apart from Me you can do nothing.” —John 15:5
If our government is not effectively working in our lives, families, churches, or nation, whatever we are trying to accomplish will greatly suffer. Government is the foundational platform from which all human activity flows. God’s Kingdom proceeds from His strategic government and, therefore, His throne dispenses righteousness and justice (Psalm 89:14).
As we attempt to measure the effectiveness of leadership within our churches or anywhere else, we regularly need to review the components of excellent government in order to strengthen what is missing. Great preaching can draw a crowd, but effective government is required to build a crowd into a thriving organization. Over these many years, the biggest shortcoming I see in struggling churches goes back to non-functional or semi-functional governments. Let us quickly examine some of the major components of effective government in our churches or any organization:
- A firm conviction and evidence (Hebrews 11:1) that God has given you a commission to govern and issued you a “building permit.”
- Clarity on who is the leader, clear job descriptions, and accountability for all members of the team (elders).
- Strategic vision undergirded by regular prayer that requires all plans and programs within the organization to align themselves in definable ways within that vision.
- Consensus leadership that adequately processes their decision-making with clear protocols and honest input.
- Clear strategies and procedures to build support and ownership within the organization. Affirmation of leadership decisions beginning with support of elders by the next level of leadership and throughout the entire organization.
- Before “pulling the trigger,” clear assessments should be made of the necessary time, talents, finances, and support processes required to accomplish tasks or programs, both incrementally and to completion. Bench-mark assessments should also be implemented as the project moves forward.
- Communication systems that undergird all of the above in ways that inform, inspire, mobilize, and adjust procedures and expectations.
These seven components of effective governing are not comprehensive, but they certainly are foundational. As we seek to go to new levels of effectiveness for our Master, may the Holy Spirit show us how to apply these observations in our leadership so we may better measure our current and planned activities for needed upgrades. My fellow builders, we never come to the point in governing that we can take them for granted, and that is… THE BOTTOM LINE.