Mission & Values

Lessons from Chick-fil-A

When you talk about church growth, there are two words that receive a lot of attention. The first word is mission. Mission can be defined as why we’re here. The second word is values. Values describe how you act, which is equally important because your values will determine your success in accomplishing your mission.

Chick-fil-A-Statue

A few years ago I was able to visit the Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. I was so excited to get a behind the scenes look at one of the best run companies in America, as well as my family’s favorite fast food restaurant.

The one thing that stood out to me during my time there was how their mission and values were incorporated into every thing they do.

Chick-fil-A’s mission statement is: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”

This statement sums up why they exist, but their values really determine their success.

Here are the five things they value: Customers First, Personal Excellence, Continuous Improvement, Working Together, and Stewardship.

Living out these values has made them the most successful fast food chain in the world, generating more profit per store than any other fast food restaurant in the game.

So what can the church learn from Chick-fil-A’s success? It starts with asking a couple of very important questions.

  1. Why do we exist?

It seems like a simple answer. The church exists to tell people about Jesus and make disciples. But how can you take the great commission and personalize it for the community you’re serving.

  1. What should we value?

In light of our mission, what do we need to value in order to be successful? This may take some time to figure out, and it may need to change from time to time. Just remember your values will determine your level of success.

Once you’ve answered these two questions the work really begins because it doesn’t matter how compelling your mission statement is or how great your values are, you still have to execute week after week.

If Chick-fil-A’s chicken wasn’t delicious and if they had terrible customer service, it wouldn’t matter how good or noble their mission is. They’d be losing customers. The same goes for the church.

Have you defined your mission and values? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if I can help you with this or any other question you may have please visit the contact page and shoot me a quick email. I’d love to serve you.

I’m Going to Africa

Kenya to be more specific. Nairobi to be even more specific. And get this, the entire trip is paid for. Let’s just say I’m more than a little excited. But before you congratulate me on how lucky I am, let me tell you how I got here.

LioninKenya

You see, just over a year ago I started to feel unsettled, which didn’t make any sense. My marriage and family were good, my church was making preparations to launch a second campus, yet I just didn’t feel like I was doing enough with my life.

So, I decided to start this blog to help other small town church leaders like myself. Actually, let me back up a step. I reached out to some other church leaders that I admired and asked them how I could get where they are. They suggested I start building a platform, thus the blog was born.

I spent eight weeks researching and writing before scheduling my first post in September 2015. Since then, I’ve posted three times a week, which equates to more than 100 posts and over 50,000 words.

In January of this year, I hired a coach to become a better Executive Pastor. We video chat twice a month about things going on at my church and how to address them.

In May he asked me if I’d like to go to Africa as part of a Compassion International trip. I, of course, said yes, which got me in the front door. However, to be selected you have to have influence. Influence I wouldn’t have had last year.

On July 20th they released the names of the pastors who had been selected for the trip, and to my surprise I had made the list.

It would be easy to say I was lucky, but that would discount the work I have put in and the work God did in my heart to get me here.

The truth is we make our own luck. It comes through hard work and following where God is leading.

Commit to those two things, and you’ll always be one of the luckiest people in the world.

Have you ever been to Africa? What should I expect? I’d love to know, so leave a comment below. Also, make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

The 4 C’s of Church Staffing

Having the right team of top-level volunteers and/or paid staff is crucial to church growth. But how do you find the right people? It starts with asking the right questions.

Staffing

Over the years I’ve been responsible for getting leaders in place, both paid and volunteer. Many of them have worked out great, but there are a few I’ve missed on.

I wish I could say I have this incredible interview process that separates the good candidates from the bad, but the truth is, I basically just went with my gut instinct.

There has to be a better way, right? Well, I think I’ve found one. Samuel Chand in his book Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code suggests asking these four questions.

  1. Competence: Can you do the job?

One of the seemingly easiest questions to answer is one of competence. However, this gets complicated because ministry is different than any other occupation. Most ministry positions require getting people to do things who aren’t getting paid to do them. I suggest looking for people who are leading others as a volunteer before you think about putting them on staff.

  1. Character: Can I trust you?

Character and trust are always important, but they’re exponentially important within a church. One person can easily destroy a church of thousands. Make sure you go above and beyond to find any character issues before you place someone in a position. This means checking references, stalking them on social media, and asking important questions to those who know them best.

  1. Chemistry: Can you fit in our culture?

There’s nothing more frustrating for a church staff than a person who doesn’t fit within the culture. On our staff, you have to know how to have fun, otherwise you’re not going to be hired or placed in a high-level volunteer position. Want to know if someone fits within your culture before you hire them? Take them on a weekend retreat with the staff and see how it goes.

  1. Capacity: Can you grow with us?

When you’re part of a growing organization, you can’t just hire for the here and now. You have to think long term. Is this a person who is going to be willing to put in the work to grow with us? A great indicator of this is what are they doing now to grow themselves? If they’re not reading books, blogs, and listening to podcasts, they’re probably not interested in growing.

Even though I’ve not used this method before, I can tell you that I can look at this list of questions and the people we’ve hired or put in volunteer positions and see why they’ve been successful or why they’ve been a failure.

These will definitely be four questions I will be asking in the future.

Are there any other questions you would add to this list? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on leadership, church growth, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

Are You a Leader or a Manager?

Both are important, both have their place, but one is more important than the other. Leaders focus on developing people, and managers tend to focus on managing tasks. If you’re leading a church, the people are always more important than the tasks.A

ManagerorLeader

We’ve all probably worked in jobs under both good and bad management. Under good management, the training is better and tasks get done a little quicker than under bad management.

The focus is on the training, which is important, but training people isn’t the same as developing them. Leaders know to develop people you have to reach their heart, and that doesn’t happen in a training session.

Here are some other differences between leaders and managers:

  1. Leaders let their vision dictate their present.

         Managers let their present dictate their vision.

  1. Leaders embrace a big picture perspective.

         Managers embrace a snapshot perspective.

  1. Leaders are concerned about the what and why.

         Managers are concerned about the how and when.

  1. Leaders are inspiring and motivating.

         Managers are controlling and directing.

  1. Leaders are excited about change.

         Managers are threatened by change.

  1. Leaders can move quickly on a decision.

         Managers move slowly or not at all.

  1. Leaders aren’t afraid to take risks.

         Managers avoid risk at all costs.

  1. Leaders care more about people.

         Managers care more about systems.

  1. Leaders think outside the box for new ideas.

         Managers stay inside the box with the same ideas.

  1. Leaders are able to identify opportunities.

         Managers only identify obstacles.

Samuel Chand explains it like this, “Managers get the most out of themselves, but leaders get the most out of others.”

Both are important, but if you’re the pastor of a church, you know that one of your main roles is equipping the people within your church to do ministry.

It takes a leader to do that.

Now that you’ve read through the list, are you a leader or a manager? In what ways? Let us know in the comment section, and make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.