By Todd Adkins
As a church leader, you can’t leave “good enough” alone when it comes to your ministry. God’s hope for the world is the local church and there is no Plan B. To help you assess your plans and hone in what you’ve implemented, I’m going to discuss a final framework of concentric alignment. You want to use this tool over and over again to ensure your ministry stays on track.
John Boyd was a World War II military strategist who said that during a dogfight between two fighter pilots, each pilot went through these four decision phases. And whoever did them the fastest was the one that won the day. Most of us aren’t locked in a life or death struggle while leading through change, but these four phases are really helpful in us remaining agile in decision and they help us move our team forward with clarity and purpose.
The first thing we want to do is observe. We want to look at our present reality. What is going on around us? What is the situation? If you will notice, this is very similar to the first session. We are just providing this as a very good bookend for agile leadership, because we want to make sure that you continue this process.
Next, we want to orient ourselves and develop a present theory. What do you need to orient to or adapt to in what is going on in your present situation? How do you need to change in light of that current reality?
Next, we want to decide. Now we are looking at future theory once again. What do you have identified as the opportunity for this change? What is the golden tomorrow that you are casting vision for? What can you decide on now that will actually help move you forward toward that goal?
Then we want to act. Finally, we are in the position where we are ready to execute. How can you see through to completion this change that God has put in front of you? What will you do to observe the results to make sure that you are staying on track?
Again, this assessment is one that is never truly done because one good decision leads to another, especially in a time of rapid change. This framework is a concentric adaption loop, not a linear diagram. So, yes, walk through the exercise now, but more importantly use it on a regular basis moving forward so that we can make continuous improvements to our church and our ministry. Don’t let the success in leading this first big change make you complacent.
Agile leaders ignore the inertia of success, they don’t blindly keep going in the same direction because they continually evaluate the situation and improve their systems and alignment of resources, which ultimately improves their leadership. The quicker you are at making solid decisions that align with the vision or directions that you have set as a church, the better leader you will be in this season and in the seasons to come.
Remember, without question, whether it’s in peace time or in war, the best thing a leader can provide is clarity that is in direct alignment with the vision. I can’t give you the vision for your church or what the next great change should be to lead your church in reaching your community with the gospel message of Christ. But hopefully these tools, exercises, and frameworks have helped you and your team become more agile leaders, so that your leaders up and down your pipeline become more agile themselves, able to make decisions in perfect alignment with your church’s vision because they know where you are going and where they fit in.
To help you lead change in your church or ministry, our team has created a FREE course on Leading Rapid Change: 7 Steps to Agile Leadership in your church. Click here to get started.