“Not so long ago our staff was small enough that everyone reported to me. As we’ve grown we recognized the need to change that: Now, out of a staff of twenty something (full and part time positions), only a handful of people report to me directly. I have come to call them the “Strategic Oval” (I like ovals, so we call our departments “ovals.”) This group collaborates with me on strategy and direction in service to our mission and vision. (If that doesn’t make sense, you should read our book rebuilt). The group includes Tom Corcoran, my associate, Maria Folsom Kovarik, adult ministry team leader, Chris Wesley, family ministry team leader, and Lucas Busko, creative team leader.
Anyway, we took two days this week to step away from our usual work and discuss strategy and direction for the year ahead (measured from September, 2013 through July, 2014).
We went to my sister’s house at the beach in Avalon, New Jersey where it was really cold and mostly rainy. Perfect weather to get a lot done.
We began by looking, briefly, at the past year and how well we did. We evaluated our message series, our ministry growth, the success of our stewardship efforts; really everything that we had set out to do in the past year. All in all, we thought we did pretty well, with lots of room for improvement.
Next we spent time reflecting on the “roadblocks” we are currently experiencing in the life and growth of our parish. Some of these include: staffing (we need more), funding (we need more), space (we need more), parking (we need more). Of course, this was a much more nuanced and detailed conversation, and eventually we determined some positive steps we’ll be taking, after we go back and discuss with the rest of the staff, as well as our collaborators on our various advisory boards.
We are definitely going to do something in the coming year to better support our staff and set them up for greater success. We are also going to put some effort into better management of traffic flow inside and outside the building on weekends, and the accommodation of more cars in the parking lot, kids in the nursery, and people who want to worship.
We began the discussion of the message series we want for the coming year and kicked around a lot of ideas: this will go through much more discussion and review before decisions are made (and you thought I just make it up as I go along).
We spent time in prayer together, had quiet time alone, enjoyed a great homemade pizza dinner (cooked by Chris Wesley), and watched a movie (it was more of a documentary about the life of Steve Jobs). Some people even worked out.
I think we honor one another and God when we spend time with our fellow teammates listening to one another and considering together what it is we’re going to do together.”