Rick Mattson Leadership Leave a Comment

A favorite date destination for my wife Sharon and me is a restaurant. Any restaurant. Nice places or fast food — we enjoy them all.

But there’s one catch. One thing we simply don’t understand: At decent places, why is the food often just “so-so”? Mediocre?

I swear if I owned a restaurant the first thing I’d be certain of is the food. It’s a restaurant essential.

What about places that serve spiritual food? Ministries? How are they doing on the essentials?

I get around to almost as many different ministries as I do restaurants. I see patterns, good and bad.

And over the next few weeks I’d like to share some ministry essentials that I believe determine the difference between the thriving and the dying.

Essential #1: Healthy at the core.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a 25-member campus fellowship or a church of 2,000, “healthy at the core” is an indispensable building block of a thriving ministry, in my view.

At an ethnic church in St. Paul where I serve as a mentor/coach, we’ve reconstructed the Leadership Team (LT) from the ground up. Healthy at the core for us includes these elements:

  • Clear roles.
  • Clear decision-making process.
  • Meetings start and end on time.
  • No free passes. That is, no one can no-show without letting someone know in advance.
  • All calls/emails/texts are responded to within 24 hours.
  • We mix interpersonal care and fun with business.
  • We pray and study scripture together regularly.
  • We’re not in a hurry.
Some LTs use formal covenants. Ours is not formalized. But wow, is it ever rewarding to serve with folks who are all making the same (high) level of commitment.
I hope you’ll consider whether your own ministry context is healthy at the core.

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