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Organization for an Organization

The English language is really weird, right?! We have all these words that are spelled exactly the same and have different meanings. Or maybe even worse, the homonyms (their vs. they’re)!

One of those words is “organization”.

Organization: association, society, an administrative and functional structure (as a business or a political party); also : the personnel of such a structure

Organization: the act or process of being organized or organizing, the condition or manner of being organized

So we’ve got two functions here:

1 - The entity itself and the people that make up that entity

2 - The way that entity has arranged its parts so that it can be efficient and productive

At this point, I’d try to sell you on the idea that not all organizations are organized, but that’d be too easy. We’ve all been a part of those organizations that lacked (and that’s being nice) the organizational skills that an organization should have. We’ve seen everyone from the large corporations to the small businesses lack the organizational skills to function with any sort of health. And in my experience, the church might be the worst at this.

We, as the church, organize ourselves around things, people and causes that are really really good. We have, for the most part, the best of intentions and the highest of motives, but our organizational skills to be able to pull off those intentions are usually lacking. And if you’re a pastor or church leader, it’s not really your fault. I don’t remember seeing too many project management classes, marketing and communication classes or business administrative classes in the seminary course listings. That’s not really what you signed up for anyway, right?

Either way, that’s often what you and I are up against. We aren’t having tough conversations with someone who wants to understand the Greek text better, we are trying to figure out the best way manage large amounts of volunteers. And how we are going to allocate funds in our budgets. And how we are going to enter the digital marketing realm in any sort of relevant effective way.

An organization must find ways of being organized if they want to pursue anything in any sort of healthy way. The fall forward approach has left too many pastors and church leaders exhausted, burned out and frustrated. And it is time for that to change.

There are other ways of looking at an organization and helping it to become organized. It is currently the year two-thousand sixteen and there are infinitely more solutions than there are problems. You just have to know where to look.