Here’s a principle of leadership we are learning the hard way as a church plant.
It is easier to loosen structure over time than to add more structure to an established organization.
We started, as most church plants and new organizations do, with loose rules and fun times. There were just a few of us and we didn’t need much in the way of structured systems. In fact, some of us were running from the strict structure of larger environments. What we have realized, as we’ve gotten to be one of those larger environments, is that we need more structure in place in order for growth to continue. We need some rules to help level the playing field among staff and volunteers, making things fair for everyone, improve accountability, and insure we are good stewards of the resources entrusted to us. We need to use words like policies and manuals and enforce office hours and do staff evaluations and offer constructive criticism and keep an organizational calendar and….well, you get the idea. We have to put on our big boy clothes and be a real organization.
I have warned the staff, although I’m not sure any of us fully comprehend yet, that when we start creating structure, the structured side of my personality (strong “J” on the Myers Briggs Personality indicator and an “A” type personality) will insist that we live by that structure. It would have probably been easier had we started with some of this structure before we got big enough to need it.