Vision and Mission – Get the Right People on Board

Chris Miller, President of Miller Management, is the host of this week’s episode. He is joined by his colleague, Kevin Donoho, current Lead Pastor at College Church of the Nazarene.

We started this conversion off by knowing the “why” behind the mission. If everyone knows the mission, knows the why, they will be able to make changes better. Last week’s episode was a continuation of that conversation, and today we will wrap up this story.

Alignment Meetings

With strong leaders, (or strong boards) they may ask hard questions, or seemingly push back, just to make sure you’ve thought through that decision or change you want to¬†implement. That is one reason that Pastor Kevin starting instituting Alignment Meetings. Quarterly meetings with the staff at the church. They have calendar alignment meetings, and vision casting over the next four months. This is a great way to rally to troops around the next four months.

Of course, all while centering around the mission.

Senior Lunches

One of the best things Pastor Kevin’s church does, according to him, is once a month they have a Boomer Builder. The church provides the meal, the staff serves them – intentionally. Then they participate in a song or something fun, and finally, get a chance to talk about what’s coming up.

He starts with some things that the church is celebrating, then moves to the things that are coming in their church. This is the time to talk about the difficult things that could be about to happen. Now is the time to talk about it – not on a Sunday. And now just talk at them, but engage them in the conversation. Create a space to ask questions.

Then, they wrap up by thanking them and telling them they are needed. This demographic may think they have the most to lose. They could feel they are losing their belonging, or may have lost their purpose. But Pastor Donoho says, “In all the ministries I’ve lead, that generation is the champions of change.”

Go In the Right Order

Depending on how the church is structure, first you have to check in with the Church Board. After you have their sign-off, you move on to the Staff. After the staff, the next group is the Senior Lunch. Finally, you talk about the change on a Sunday morning. Then, when the changes happen, all those people are already on board; and they are ready to help.

You might be marinating with an idea for months before you talk about it. But once you did share the change, it is those people’s first time hearing this news. After you share with a big room of people, and feel some opposition, Kevin might take a small group of those people and have a coffee & chat. Give honest feedback, ask questions, hear their concerns. This helps people feel they are listened to and cared for.

Diverse or Different Groups of People?

Our guest wanted to know how Pastor Kevin suggests that Pastors handle doing this same thing with differing groups of people. Being that actual different services or styles, or multiple campuses. So how do we handle diverse styles/services?

Keep telling the stories! Share the wins from service to service. People want to know, they want to root for the others. And always tie back into the mission.

Final Thoughts

Leadership is hard work and it’s a ton of conversations and communicating. But, man, if we don’t do the homework, we get ourselves in trouble in a hurry. So for the most part, Pastor Donoho doesn’t rush things. if he is going to roll out a change, he’d rather roll it out with an army of people on his side. Rather than rolling out a change and having to deal with the aftermath of not having buy-in beforehand.

It’s good to have courage, but you have to do the homework first. Love people deeply, in hopes to lead them well.¬†

If you find yourself starting a new lead position…

Pastor Donoho suggestions that for the first six months of a new setting, pick the speed bumps, not the biggest hill. The wins start adding up, and you gain trust for the big hill. Even if it doesn’t go well, there is still trust and a track record laid out. When we lay a foundation, we get better results.

Coming Up

Join us next week as we start a new series on Reading and Understanding Financial Statements.


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Special thanks to our guest Pastor Kevin Donoho and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this final episode in our Vision and Mission series.