Today I want to talk to you about decision rights in your church or organization. Often there is a dilemma when it comes to decisions. Who is in charge? Who has authority? Who has the final say? I am going to suggest that you categorize items into these three buckets from Patrick Lencioni’s “Politics, Silos, and Turf Wars.”
In bucket one, you place the things that absolutely do not change. These are things like your vision, your values, elements of your doctrine, maybe your constitution. Some would add more to bucket one. Let’s say you’re a multi-site church, so you might also include the sermon series you’re on, graphics, the worship set, and standard ministry offerings from campus to campus.
In bucket two, you place items that could possibly change. These are areas in which you don’t want to tie down the senior leadership to make decisions, but someone needs to make the call. In larger settings, you may establish a peer working group to make decisions and adjustments as you go along. And they assess what is working and what’s not working.
Finally, in bucket three, you place the items that you want to contextualize to the specific ministry or a campus. Each ministry clearly understands what it has freedom to do and no freedom to do. And allows each area or campus a unique opportunity to serve those under its care, while displaying this core common DNA that makes them one family.
My suggestion is that you place as many things as possible in bucket one and bucket three. By doing so you establish clear lines of authority, clear decision rights, and don’t leave room for any grey area here in bucket two. This gives ministry leaders the guardrails that they need to let them run and move the mission forward.
Now that you understand how to categorize your church’s decision rights, what are you going to do about it?