For years, pastors and leaders have asked me how their organizations can get and keep “it.” That intangible buzz, passion, or momentum you get when you’re involved in something special. When teams have it, everyone knows it, even if they have a hard time defining what it is.
Fascinated by this topic, I decided to study it more. I looked at our church and other ministries to see why some teams have it and others don’t. While there’s no such thing as a plug-and-play formula, I’ve been able to identify seven principles that make it happen:
- Divine focus
- Unmistakable camaraderie
- Innovative minds
- Willingness not to last
- The heart is directed outward
The first thing I notice about successful organizations is that they always have a clear vision. Ministries that have this are filled with people who understand and believe in the vision. Without it, you’ll have people who may like the ministry but don’t understand where it’s going.
In my experience, I have found three levels of buy-in. Ministries without it have first and second level people. In ministries with him, more and more people are moving to the third level.
Level 1: People believe in the vision enough to benefit from it.
Like the person who enjoys service at their favorite restaurant or works out at a conveniently located gym, these churchgoers are people with a constant consumer mindset. They come to church because they like it. It’s easy. He feels good. It’s convenient. They get something from the ministry. For them, this is the most important thing.
Level 2: People believe in the vision enough to contribute.
As someone who drops a change in the donation jar or participates in a neighborhood watch program, these are people who have been consumers but are willing to contribute as long as it’s easy. They are happy to help as long as it doesn’t cost much, doesn’t require much, and doesn’t interfere with their other priorities.
Level 3: People believe in the vision enough to commit their lives to it.
These are the people who understand the vision and get it. They recognize that their lives do not belong to them. They belong to Jesus. They exist to serve a greater cause than themselves. They find joy in sacrificial offering and fulfillment in selfless service. They become part of the mad, radically devoted to finding and saving the lost and teaching all people. They are willing to do whatever it takes to do what Jesus has asked them to do. They are all, holding nothing back, bringing everything. They don’t go to church; they are the church.
Everyone longs for a cause worth fighting for.
Although people may lean toward comfort and self-indulgence, they don’t really like it. Deep down, they want more. Much more. Everyone longs for a cause worth fighting for. We want to feel that our lives are meaningful and have a purpose. We love being a part of something bigger than ourselves, something that makes a real, even eternal, difference. As leaders, our task is to seek God, see the vision, convey it in a convincing way and invite people to give their lives for the greatest cause on Earth – the cause of Christ.
Taken from KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT IS By CRAIG GROSHEL Copyright © AUGUST 2, 2022 by CRAIG GROSHEL. Used with permission from Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.
So consider your organization and what level best describes where your team falls. If a significant portion of your team has level three buy-in, your organization likely has it. What do you need to do to save it? If most of your buy-in team is at level one or two, what can you do to move your people to level three?
Where there is no vision, people fight and wander and wander. Where there is vision, people have focus, power and energy and are able to make a bigger impact.
If you want to learn more about building an organization that has this, read my latest bookHow Leadership Matters: 7 Leadership Principles for a Church That Lasts.